Private firms should take care of their security: police chief

Special Correspondent

Police will protect installations such as airports, bus terminals, railway stations

CHENNAI: Chennai Commissioner of Police K. Radhakrishnan on Tuesday urged private enterprises in the organised sector to take care of their security, while the police would protect main installations such as airports, bus terminals, railway stations and shopping malls.

Addressing a workshop on ‘Security for business enterprises,’ organised here by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, he said the airport was well protected, and the police were establishing 11 checkpoints at the entry to the city, starting in Kancheepuram district. Coastal village committees would be set up to gather intelligence on the ground, and the Crisis Management Group in the Police Department would soon be revived.

Besides the NSG, the State had three different groups of forces—the Tamil Nadu Commando Force; the Special Task Force; and the Special Action Group—to combat terrorism. The police had been equipped with powerful weapons and protective gears and might acquire some more in future. “The police can provide security only during emergencies. Providing security is not the task of the police alone; public should take part in it. You should focus on your areas. There are several provisions which state that people have a definite role to prevent crime. You are also empowered by the law to prevent crime,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said.

Marriot Hotel lauded

He lauded the management of Marriott Hotel and the Tidel Park for having adequate security arrangements. “Marriott Hotel has metal detectors, sniffer dogs, X-ray scanning machines and minesweepers. That’s why, foreigners prefer staying there. Why can’t the others follow suit?”

The city police would join hands with the public to collate information from the ground to combat terrorism. Such a model was tried out in Coimbatore after the serial bomb blasts in 1998, and it proved successful.

“Ten years prior to the blasts, Coimbatore registered 123 communal murders. From 1998 to 2008, there was no communal murder in the city, and this speaks volumes for the success of the police. Everyone should have faith in the police. Our manpower is dependable and capable,” he said. Members of the Public-Police-Partnership would interact with residents’ associations regularly to get an update.

Budgetary allocation

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) T. Rajendran urged government departments to increase the budgetary allocation for security. He also called for liberalising the issue of gun licence, saying it did not look nice to have bunkers in front of hotels in the name of security. “But we have to be very careful while issuing licence.”

“Shopping malls can have professional players to cover a large area. But they should be trained properly. We can’t be everywhere all the time. Unless the people themselves are willing to come forward, it will be difficult for the police in the coming days to combat terrorism.”

Mr. Rajendran said the role of the police had expanded tremendously over the years, while the expertise did not grow commensurately; now they had to combat terrorism on land, in jungle and at sea.

He called for a compulsory lesson on security in schools and colleges to sensitise students to about safety, and for safety drills in establishments.

Former Director-General of Police and former CBI Director C.V. Narasimhan said every establishment should form a crisis management group with three-four members. It should be vested with sufficient authority.

Mr. Narasimhan urged the police to launch a massive drive against illegal possession of fire arms and strengthen the provisions of Home Guards and give them some powers.

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