An electronic surveillance system had helped the residents of Parwana Apartments, in Mayur Vihar Extension, to sleep in peace at night. The 200-odd families had pooled in their resources to install 13 cameras two years ago to stop burglaries.
But they did not deter a group of burglars to ransack and rob 62-year-old Supti Dutta’s house one evening. Despite the fact that the burglars were caught on camera, whose footage was submitted to the police by the residents, no action has been taken so far.
“This burglary had been captured by the society’s CCTV cameras. We also submitted the footage to the police. One can clearly see the faces of the robbers scaling the wall and entering the flat. Yet, the police have failed to make any arrests. They keep on asking resident welfare societies to install CCTV cameras, but what is the point of doing that if they are unable to arrest the culprit once they are caught on camera,” said Sokesh Sharma, secretary of Parwana apartment society.
These aren’t stray incidents of crime. Almost every resident of east Delhi can narrate one or two incidents of crime. East Delhi has seen a spurt in the number of snatching and burglary cases — despite the fact that the area has busy roads and a number of gated colonies.DK Sharma of the nearby Kirti Apartments too had a crime story to share. Sometime ago, armed robbers on motorbikes had snatched a bag full of cash from him when he was on his way home from the bank. Sharma was travelling on a scooter with his wife. The snatching incident happened when the two were merely metres away from their colony.
The Kirti Apartment society is not yet equipped with CCTV cameras. Its Resident Welfare Society (RWA) has now decided to bring in an electronic surveillance system after this incident.
“What happened with Sharmaji is an example of the law and order situation in the area has deteriorated. We held a meeting on Sunday to discuss the process of installing cameras in our society. Within two months, our colony too will be covered with cameras,” said PK Mukherjee, president of the Kirti Apartment society.
Most of the residential apartments of Mayur Vihar and IP extension have CCTV cameras in every nook and corner of the society. This step has been taken by them to curb incidents of burglaries.
Till July, the area had seen 80 cases of burglaries and house thefts, as per Delhi Police figures. Last year, this number was 65 for the area.
These figures have been provided by four police stations put together — Madhu Vihar, Mandawli, New Ashok Nagar and Mayur Vihar. These police stations cover most of the group housing societies of east Delhi.
Earlier, the Delhi Police had also written to several Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) of the area to install CCTV cameras as a security measure after a senior citizen was found murdered in her flat in Mayur Vihar.
“We have conducted an audit of the gated colonies and asked the RWA members to install CCTV cameras.
The audit is going to be a regular feature to make residents feel safer.We also hold regular meetings with RWAs and take suggestions on improving the security network in the area from them," said Asif Mohammed, additional DCP (east).