Call to step up night patrol in Kozhikode city falls on deaf ears

The call of residents’ associations to improve night patrol is yet to be taken up seriously by the majority of the Station House Officers (SHOs) in Kozhikode city.  Though the Janamaithri scheme specifically mentions the importance of night patrol with the participation of residents’ forum members, the hectic law-and-order responsibilities are reportedly forcing the SHOs to put on hold an intensified night patrol arrangement.

The issue came to light when the members of an apex body of residents’ associations in the city took it up with the District Police Chief (Kozhikode city) in the wake of a strange spike in the number of burglaries, chain snatching and vehicle lifting cases.

Functionaries of five major residents’ associations within the city corporation limits said there were several instances when they placed the demand before the SHOs concerned for action. Though there were promises aplenty, the situation remained unchanged, they claimed.

They said the preventive measures taken in view of the worsening situation were not up to the mark. They also spoke about the concerns raised by many senior citizens and those staying alone without proper personal security arrangements.

“There was a project earlier named ‘Bell of Faith’ for installing safety alarms in the houses of select senior citizens. It came to an end midway after the initial frenzy in 2019,” said E. Sethunath, an elderly member of a local residents’ forum near Eranhipalam. 

He said the electronic bell with wireless control mechanism was installed only in a few houses though there were declarations that the houses of all senior citizens above the age of 70 with mobility issues would be covered under the project.  

Meanwhile, some of the Station House Officers within the city limits claimed that the community patrol squads were working very well in all the vulnerable areas with the cooperation of local residents. According to them, there were only isolated complaints, which could be addressed without much delay.

DCP promises spot action

Responding to the allegations raised by residents’ forums, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Kozhikode city) Amose Mammen said appropriate action would be taken on receiving written or email complaints from residents’ associations concerned.

“There is nothing like a hectic work schedule as the department now has sufficient staff strength to meet duty requirements,” Mr. Mammen told The Hindu.

He made it clear that patrol squads would be asked to cover weaker areas, if there are any, after going through specific complaints. He also reiterated that the police would be able to address genuine grievances in the quickest possible time.    

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2022 1:49:40 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/call-to-step-up-night-patrol-in-kozhikode-city-falls-on-deaf-years/article65572003.ece