Spurt in burglaries has put the city police and residents' associations on high alert, writesAnand Haridas

The recent instances of burglaries have compelled the higher-ups in the city police to tighten up crime surveillance.

For the last couple of days, the force has been combing the city to prevent the burglars from making a new hit. With the drive back in place, the force has started working with more cohesion.

"Patrolling has been intensified after the burglaries," said P. Vijayan, City Police Commissioner. "This will be in place for sometime."

Intensive patrolling has led to detention of many people on petty offences. Though the police are working on very specific leads, no breakthrough could be made in burglary investigation. But the drive is helping the force in tightening the general security.

And, they are getting extensive support from the public. Alertness on the part of the public could be felt in the increased number of calls the Police Control Room receive. "Though the genuine calls on spotting strangers in the callers' neighbourhoods are few, the total number of calls has definitely increased," said Sam Christie Daniel, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Control Room).

The patrol teams were fine-tuned in such a way that they could reach any spot in the city in five to seven minutes on a tip-off. Of course, places such as Thrikakkara or Udayamperoor would take longer, Mr. Daniel said. The police initiative to seek the cooperation of private security personnel, which began before the burglars started striking, has now come in handy. Many private security agencies could switch to high alert mode in no time.

As one official of a leading private security agency said, additional patrolling is now in place, both as a support to those on duty as well as to prevent them from slipping off to lesser alert modes.

The city police recently held a meeting with the main players in the security field and briefed them on the need to work on a mutually complimenting manner for effective crime fighting. The situation has also put the residents' associations in an active mode. The Ernakulam District Residents' Associations Apex Council and representatives of residents' association have convened a meeting on Saturday to discuss the issue.