Crime and accident rate see a fall during lockdown period

A view of the deserted road in Visakhapatnam Saturday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

There has been a drastic fall in the accident and crime rate during the lockdown period in the city.

From March 21 to May 21 in 2019, the total number of crime and accident recorded under all heads was 904 cases, and during the same period in this year the number of cases recorded was 358. Fatal accidents under Section 304A in 2019 during this period was 33 and in this year it is just five cases. Property offences, including house break-ins, were 111 and 43.

“There has been a drop under all heads and this period was almost crime and accident free,” said Commissioner of Police Rajeev Kumar Meena.

According to him, since most people were at home the vehicular traffic on road was minimal and due to which the accidents were very few and burglars did not dare to break-in into the houses. But on a larger picture, the prime reason for fewer crimes was mass deployment of police forces and visible policing.

“This was emergency like situation, as experienced during war times. This was also probably the largest deployment of forces 24/7 during a specific period and for a specific reason since the last few decades. This visible policing had a huge impact,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone – II) Uday Bhaskar. This clearly is an eye opener that indicates that visible policing has an impact on society, when it comes to crime.

Police-people ratio

But the police-people ratio do not favour such deployment.

The ratio of police-people in India is around 150 policemen per one lakh people, as per UN indicator. This is much less to the UN recommendation of 222 policemen.

In Visakhapatnam it is even much lower as it tappers down to one policeman for every 800 citizens.

The policing was effective, as the entire police force was deployed for just one reason, to effectively see the lockdown. But in normal circumstances it would not be possible, as police has other duties to perform.

This indicates that for effective policing, the manpower resources and infrastructure needs to be enhanced.

Apart from manpower, the police needs to be strengthened in areas such as digital surveillance and technology. “The response of the people during the lockdown was also good and it needs to be maintained. People need to cooperate and see police as a facilitator and not as a muscle power,” said Mr. Uday Bhaskar.

According to Mr. Meena, people need to use the technology provided by the police such as LHMS (locked house monitoring system) and CC TV installation to support the force.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:06:03 PM |

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