PCR vans to now check up on local criminals in ‘free time’
Shocked by the involvement of persons with past criminal records in two brazen robbery attempts, the Delhi Police have now decided to focus on preventing the new malady, rather than curing it.delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2012 01:31 IST
Shocked by the involvement of persons with past criminal records in two brazen robbery attempts, the Delhi Police have now decided to focus on preventing the new malady, rather than curing it.
In a seemingly knee-jerk reaction to prevent incidents such as the Defence Colony cash van heist and a drugging-cum-robbery bid by the driver of a cash van in northwest Delhi, PCR vans now will have the additional responsibility of checking up on local criminals in their ‘free time’.
“We have initiated a new drive which aims at both keeping a check on people with previous criminal records after serving jail terms,” said Dharmendra Kumar, special commissioner of police (law and order). According to police, lists containing the particulars of known criminals have been given to each of the 600 Delhi Police PCR vans.When not out on their rounds, the personnel in these vans will be required to pay visits to the homes of the area’s known criminals, generate information about their current source of income, gather ‘general’ intelligence about their daily routine and basically "keep them under constant human surveillance".
“All the men directly involved in the Rs 5.25 crore Defence Colony heist had criminal records. Similarly, Om Pal, the driver who escaped with Rs 50 belonging to a cash replenishment agency in northwest Delhi’s Maurya Enclave, was a criminal too. The idea is to keep a check on hopeless criminals and nab them before they commit a new crime,” said an officer.
Meanwhile, sources said there was another facet to the arrangement: The police’s inability to keep an eye on commuters with enormous amounts of cash on Delhi streets and ineffective border check posts.
“We are aware that large amounts of cash are brought into and driven out of the city on a daily basis — for legitimate businesses but sometimes for ‘hawala’ operations. Since we don’t have the infrastructure or manpower to avert such incidents, we can at least try to keep local criminals at bay,” the officer said.