OTHERS

Crime rate falling, says Police Commissioner

The Police Commissioner, Mariswamy, (left) and the Transport Commissioner, Om Prakash, at a meet-the-press programme in Bangalore on Monday. — Photo: K. Gopinathan

The Police Commissioner, Mariswamy, (left) and the Transport Commissioner, Om Prakash, at a meet-the-press programme in Bangalore on Monday. — Photo: K. Gopinathan  

BANGALORE, OCT. 11. If the city Police Commissioner, S. Mariswamy, has got his figures right, Bangalore is witnessing a fall in crime rate and a spurt in traffic violations.

At an interaction organised by the Bangalore Reporters' Guild here on Monday, the Police Commissioner said that murders totalled 111 in 1987 and increased to 217 in 2003. "But at the same time, the city's population grew by 20 lakh," he said.

"Most murders are spur-of-the-moment ones and begin with a quarrel over a shirt, for instance. I call these `lifestyle' murders as they are rooted in the stress and problems of modern life," he said.

Dacoity cases

Cases of dacoity, according to him, totalled 21 in 1990 and 91 in 1994 but fell to 46 in 2003. Robberies rose to 434 in 1998 but dipped to 172 in 2003. "With chain snatching, we had 179 cases in 1991, 198 in 2001 and 172 in 2003." Ordinary thefts, he said, remained at 7,000-odd from 1987 to 1991, but fell to 5,000-5,500 in the 2000-2002 period.

Conviction rates were low though. "Our investigation and, later, the case prosecution and disposal must be made more efficient," he admitted.

Accidents were, however, increasing. "There were 463 fatal accidents in 1980, 792 in 2002 and 832 in 2003. Non-fatal offences rose from 7,643 in 1994 to 9,835 in 2003. Our exploding vehicular population — we have over 21 lakh vehicles here — is responsible," he said.

Traffic violations

Most violators were well educated and highly-paid and found the Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 traffic fines too little. "So, we have proposed to the Government that the fines be increased. For that the Motor Vehicle Rules need a local amendment," he said.

TV programmes

Asked what he felt about two popular crime-based Kannada television programmes, Mr. Mariswamy considered them badly made. "They basically titillate viewers and are an ugly reflection of our society. This is dangerous, as these programmes contain no balanced reporting. We policemen have no authority over such channels but veteran journalists among you must condemn the lack of journalistic standards," he stressed.

More RTOs

The Transport Commissioner, Om Prakash, said that five more regional transport offices (RTOs) would be set up in Bangalore, to add to the five fully computerised RTOs already functional. The department was acquiring land to lay extra driving tracks, apart from the one in Peenya.

To tackle pollution, a Government Order was being issued to direct all autorickshaws with illegal liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) kits to get authorised kits fitted. "The city now has 10 LPG filling stations, five more will be ready by the year-end," he added.

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