Security personnel in police control room (PCR) vans will now be armed enough to take on criminals. These policemen are usually the first response team in case of any emergency.
There have been several instances in which criminals, including cattle-lifters from Mewat, attacked PCR personnel and were able to escape as the police could not hit back.
The Delhi Police have now decided to equip its PCR staff with long-range weapons to counter shootout-like situations. They have also been permission to use those firearms in case of any attack on them.
As they are the first wall of defence, they have been asked to take action without waiting for the local police to arrive. According to a senior police officer, these instructions will not only boost the morale of PCR personnel, but also help in controlling street crime. Till now, they used to think of themselves as staff deployed in ambulances, he said.
"They never counted themselves as police personnel in active policing as they were not supposed to return fire. So many of them would get injured and their vehicles would get damaged when they tried to catch criminals," said the senior officer.
Asked about fresh instructions given to the PCR staff, TN Mohan, special commissioner of police (operations), said, "We have asked our staff to be pro-active and take action according to the situation. We are trying to redefine the role of PCR staff and bring them into real action." The new fleet of PCR vans had been flagged off three days ago.