As any other burgeoning city that hands out a promise of unprecedented growth, Gurgaon too is home to an aspiring crowd, which at times need to be reined in by law enforcement agencies. But unlike any other city of such scale, it has seen a proportional rise in the menace of crime, owing largely to meagre and skeletal policing.
"Yes, we are short of manpower, but one has to understand that nurturing human resources takes time. We are not some private security agency and we cannot recruit people overnight. Our personnel need to train before they join the force. The process is on," Gurgaon police commissioner Alok Mittal told Hindustan Times.
Amita Ailawadi, vice-president of the residents' welfare association (RWA) of Exclusive Floors housing society, said, "There are so many dark stretches in the city, but I have never seen policemen there. We are always worried when our children are out and have to return late at night. In fact, seldom does a police control room van get stationed outside our society." There is a provision for PCR vans to be deputed outside every housing complex in the city. "But we rarely see a PCR van outside our colony. There have been many incidents of theft and chain-snatchings in and around our colony," said TN Kaul, president of Ardee City RWA.
Mittal said that Gurgaon is a city of "street crimes" — somebody's mobile may be snatched, a woman's purse may be wrested out of her hands, a BPO worker may be made to part with his laptop in plain sight, a woman may be molested on her way back home etc.
His overture is corroborated by the crime statistics of the city, which has shown a hike in almost every category of crime, especially rape, molestation, snatching, abduction and motor vehicle theft. An indication is the rise in rape cases in the city — around 50 in 2011-2012 but over 30 thus far in the current year.
"I feel extremely vulnerable when I return home. I feel insecure even as I walk in a mall because I have never seen a policeman on the road," said Anu Malgas, 24, a resident of Sector 31.
The traffic scenario does not look reassuring either with around 300 traffic cops managing the movement of nearly 10 lakh vehicles every day.