Staff Reporter

Security among public increased, say the police

KOCHI: With community policing becoming popular in the city, the burglary scare has come down drastically, the police officials said. "There is an increased sense of security among the public, as is evident from the nature of calls received at the Control Room," said Sam Christie Daniel, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Control Room).

As usual, majority of the calls received at the Control Room continue to be false alarms. "Almost 80 per cent of them are false alarms. With civic squads in place and response time for the police party to attend to calls reduced, the people are feeling less burdened during night," he said.

On their part, the residents associations have imposed on themselves, a sort of discipline as far as squads are concerned. "We have asked associations that constitute squads not to carry arms and have members in drunken condition," said S. Balakrishnan, president of the Ernakulam District Residents Associations Apex Council.

The civic squads have been made aware that their role should be to keep vigil on their premises and not to catch the thief making their action more of a deterrent nature. Even after complaints of misuse of civic squad by some agencies, nothing much has changed in the patrolling pattern.

"We have been issuing identity cards signed by the Circle Inspector for our squad members right from the beginning. Even otherwise we give a complete list of squad members to the police station," said A. Ajith Kumar of Rice Research Road Residents' Association, Ponnurunni, which is one of the first associations to constitute civic squads.

Recently, many residents associations have been formed in the city with the goal of launching civic squads. But, there is a general slowing down in the process, as the police officers had been conducting regular interaction to update Kochiites about the improved situation.

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