Kochi

City police to enforce security measures for apartments

The city police are set to enforce a slew of measures to enhance the security of apartment complexes in the wake of a spate of incidents, including hosting of drug parties and even the operation of a gambling centre, in apartments.

The apartment associations will be alerted in view of the recent developments during the monthly meetings of Janamaithri police and residents’ associations.

“We will be asking associations and owners to at least collect proper identity documents of new tenants since police verification cannot be insisted upon. Besides, a day of the household visits being undertaken by Janamaithri beat officers as part of the M-Beat (Mobile Beat) system will now be dedicated to residential flats,” said Aishwarya Dongre, Deputy Police Commissioner (Law and Order and Traffic), Kochi City.

Apartment associations will also be asked to maintain high-quality CCTV networks and proper backup of footage so that they come in handy in the aftermath of any untoward incident. “Night patrolling officers will also drop in at apartment complexes to ensure that the security guards are on alert and that the guest register is maintained properly,” said Ms. Dongre,

Recently, the police had stumbled across a gambling centre operating out of a premium duplex apartment on the 18th floor of a major apartment complex at Chilavanoor during the course of an inspection in connection with the cases being registered against Syju Thankachan, one of the accused in the Chakkaraparambu accident, under NDPS Act. The tenant operating the centre was arrested invoking charges under NDPS Act since he was allegedly found in possession of 5gm of ganja and the Kerala Gaming Act.

He had allegedly custom-built a gaming table while the other paraphernalia was bought online besides creating the ambience go with it. He had taken the luxury apartment for a monthly rent of ₹60,000, which was more than covered by the commission of between ₹30,000 and ₹40,000 he earned during every day of gambling, said police sources.

“The owner was probably lured by the rent and had no clue about the happenings in the apartment while the apartment association was also in the dark. The security guard, who was handsomely tipped, fudged the entries in the guest register. It is important that the owners verify the credentials of the tenants and ensure the proper upkeep of CCTV networks and guest registers. They should also be proactive about alerting police in the event of an untoward incident. Often, associations are reluctant to inform the police for fear of damaging the reputation of the apartment,” said M.S. Faisal, Inspector, South Police.

V.S. Somanathan, general secretary, All Kerala Flat Owners’ Association, said that the government should bring in common guidelines for the apartment associations to follow so that needless arguments between tenants and their guests and association staff are averted. “Also, apartment owners should also ensure the credentials of the tenants rather than simply renting out apartments to the biggest bidder. Once the apartment is rented out, there is hardly any contact between the tenant and the owner since everything happens online these days, making it easier for tenants to indulge in nefarious activities,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 9:59:01 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/city-police-to-enforce-security-measures-for-apartments/article38083211.ece