Demand for police aid posts in ecotourism spots in Kozhikode falls on deaf ears

Citing shortage of manpower and increased workload, the Police Department is yet to respond positively to the public call for opening more police aid posts covering prominent ecotourism destinations in Kozhikode district. Instead, the police suggest more mobile patrols with the support of local police stations.

The demand for opening new aid posts comes in the wake of sexual assault cases and incidents of substance abuse reported in the surroundings of unguarded tourism spots in village areas. Though security guards have been posted in many locations, their job is seemingly a challenging one in destinations with wider geographical boundaries.

“There are closed-circuit television cameras in some of the ecotourism spots, but unguarded locations are safe havens for miscreants. In many locations, CCTV network is poor due to the termination of annual maintenance contracts,” said a security guard who is now working at a prominent ecotourism spot. He was of the view that police patrol was not that effective to compensate for the police aid post.

Some of the destination management committees from the rural areas said popular ecotourism spots like Janakikkad, Kariyathumpara and Kakkayam are slowly emerging as safe havens for drug addicts and those who lure minor girls for abuse. Only the presence of the police will solve such issues, they pointed out.

Three major sexual assault cases were reported from the Janakikkad ecotourism spot area recently, which pointed to the involvement of sex rackets. Despite the increase in such cases, the call for a permanent police aid post remains unattended here. Same is the case with other places like Thusharagiri, Kakkayam, Peruvannamoozhi, Vayalada and Thonippara. Citing technical issues, some of the Station House Officers in rural police stations said the aid posts offered the services of a normal police station and they could not be set up without proper preparation. “If the destination management committees or the Tourism Department can manage surveillance measures on their own using the daily revenue they get, it will be the most viable option than trying for a police aid post, which requires multiple-level clearance from the authorities,” they said.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 1:28:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/demand-for-police-aid-posts-in-ecotourism-spots-in-kozhikode-falls-on-deaf-ears/article37221394.ece

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