Staff Reporter

"Crimes are committed because society remains mute witness"

CHENNAI: Be alert. This itself can prevent crime and victimisation. This was the message speakers conveyed at a meeting organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Tamil Nadu chapter.

The number of crimes against women and children besides cyber-related offences were on the rise, as society remained a mute spectator, said E. Dasaradhan, chairman of the institute. While one property-related crime was committed every minute, crime against women was committed every three minutes.

Mute witness

Also, violence of some sort broke out every three minutes in the country, he noted. Crimes were committed because society remained a mute witness. This is a worst-case scenario as the country had only 122 police personnel for a population of one lakh.

Letika Saran, Commissioner of Police, Chennai, said when a person knew that the risk of being caught and punished had been low, the desire to commit crimes was more. She said the provisions in Criminal Procedure Code where Sections 37-40 provided for people's participation in preventing crime.

"The law enjoins society to participate actively. We have had the cooperation of people in Chennai," she said giving an example of Lakshmi Nagar Colony in Nanganallur where residents took up night patrolling and prevented crime for over 30 years.

Among the people-police initiative were the Boys' Clubs near slums, the Road Safety Patrol and the Citizens for Safe Roads involving over 3,000 students and 500 traffic wardens, she said.

A.K. Venkatasubramanian, former secretary to Government of India, said quick and adequate punishment, education on civic sense and collective participation of citizens would help.

The seminar was organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Tamil Nadu chapter and the Department of Public Administration, Meenakshi College for Women.