Soon, a property consultant in your locality, or even the laundry man, could double up as a police informer.
The Mumbai police force, grappling with the frequency of terror attacks, and inability of the city’s security set-up to deal with the same, have come up with a Comprehensive Security. Plan.
Saying that the plan was in its very initial stages, senior official of the Mumbai police informed that the Protection and Security (P&S) branch of the Mumbai police, dedicated to the city’s security, has been assigned the task of chalking out the plan details.
One of the focus areas of the plan is the problem of intelligence gathering. “People often shy away from sharing information with the police, fearing that they would be hassled. Traditional police informers too are looked at with apprehension, as many have criminal backgrounds. As a result, the channel for information dries up.”
As a solution , the official said, ordinary citizens like a property broker, laundryman, or the grocer’s delivery boy could be roped in as informers, as they frequently interact with residents in the area. “If they can be sensitised and taken into confidence, they would give precise and credible information about a new resident who could be a potential suspect,” the official added.
For instance, the official said, if a new comer approaches a broker for accommodation on rent, and agrees to pay the quoted price without bargaining, that behaviour could arouse suspicion, and the broker could inform police about it. “If someone wants to rent a house for a short duration, at monthly rent which is much higher than market price, that too would not be entirely normal behaviour. “If the property broker is already taken into confidence by the local police, he won’t hesitate to pass on the information.”
Another aspect of the plan is to furthur decentralise the security structure by setting up several hubs across the island city and suburbs.
“All the vital installations, important places of worship and shrines have already been provided huge security cover, along with sniffer dogs. If some suspicious object or person is found in areas close to these vital installations, those places, the in-house security in that area can be diverted, for immediate response,” the official said.
He added: “The area can be cordoned off, and the in-house security can also round up a suspect, till the local police and bomb disposal squad reach the spot.” In this way, the quick response can be taken, minimizing damages and casualty.
In addition, an earlier plan of building a massive CCTV network, of 5,000 cameras across the city, will also be a part of the Comprehensive Security Plan.
Confirming the initiative, additional commissioner of police (P&S) Madhukar Pandey said: “The upgraded security plan is at a nascent stage. It would be implemented after elaborate discussion and deliberation.”