Kolkata Police’s initiative to get information about the domestic helps working at citizens’ homes has fallen flat over the years. Javed Shamim, joint commissioner (headquarters), Kolkata Police, said that less than 5% of the employers share information about their domestic helps with the local police station.
“Statistics hint that these helps have a role to play in at least 40% of household thefts in Kolkata and its suburbs, particularly in the apartments,” said a senior police officer of the detective department of Kolkata Police.
“People do not register details of domestic helps with the local police station, making it difficult for us to trace them after they commit a crime. Worse, during investigations, we have observed that employers themselves do not have any details of their servants,” said Shamim.
Few years ago, the city police started a programme through which employers could register the identification details of their domestic helps with the local police station. This is supposed to help the police in tracking them to their native places.
According to the programme, a resident should submit the servant’s verification form with three copies of photographs at the nearest police station. Cops then enquire about the help’s past and verify the address. The address and the photograph are sent to the employee’s native police station. If verified, these details are stored for future reference. To encourage more citizens to do this the cops have posted Domestic Help Profile Form on their website www.kolkatapolice.org.
“But most citizens employing maids do not use this or the local police station’s registering facility. It is a major worry for us,” said a police officer.
Sleuths of the detective department said that most citizens complain that their maids don’t want to be photographed. But officers suggested that the help could be photographed on the pretext of taking a picture along with the family members.
Of late, the security guards employed by residents of high rises and housing complexes have started keeping a record of helps who enter the building. At times, they are given separate identity cards that contains their name, identification marks, address and photograph.