‘Lax security at banks to blame’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Lax security at banks to blame’

Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police (law and order), feels banks are equally to blame for the robberies. He says it is the lack of security that leads to such incidents.

mumbai Updated: Oct 12, 2010 01:28 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police (law and order), feels banks are equally to blame for the robberies. He says it is the lack of security that leads to such incidents. Excerpts from an interview:

Three bank robberies in one region in the last four months. What could be the reason?
The three robberies seem to be the handiwork of a gang that is familiar with the topography of the area. It is the way they carry out the robberies and escape without a trace.

Why are robberies occurring repeatedly in the same area? Have the police failed in its job?
We are on the job. We have definite leads and we are working on those with the conviction that the culprits would be rounded up soon. But, banks, too, should heed the police’s security suggestions. Like, our additional commissioner of police (north region), has had meetings with over 700 senior officers from different banks in the region. It was suggested that the banks follow some basic security precautions —installing CCTV cameras, keeping armed guards, installing alarm bells and so on. But, the compliance rate is abysmal. For example, the bank that was robbed on Monday had no CCTVs installed. I am not saying the protection of the banks is not the police’s job. But banks should follow minimum security guidelines.

How are you planning to prevent a recurrence?
We will again meet representatives of all banks. This time, the security personnel will also be called. Banks that do no comply with the minimum security arrangement, will be requested to upgrade. We will tell banks to deploy fit guards. In Monday’s incident, the security guard was too old to react when the robbers struck.

What if the robbers struck elsewhere while the police concentrated on this region?
No one can say where a robbery will take place. We are trying to prop up our own as well as the bank’s security apparatus. Security instructions prepared for banks in the north of the city will be circulated to all banks in the city.