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Accent on community policing, again

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH. These two words might ring a bell among some sections of people in Vijaynagar, MIG and Pardeshipura area, who were involved with this community policing initiative, albeit briefly, around year 2000. But, like many other initiatives of community policing, it died a natural death due to police, and to an extent, community apathy.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 13:35 IST

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH. These two words might ring a bell among some sections of people in Vijaynagar, MIG and Pardeshipura area, who were involved with this community policing initiative, albeit briefly, around year 2000. But, like many other initiatives of community policing, it died a natural death due to police, and to an extent, community apathy.

But, with a spate of loot and thefts occurring, the most recent loot being at Scheme No 114 in the Lasudia area, the focus has once again shifted to community participation in stopping these crimes.

SP Adarsh Katiyar agreed that given the shortage of police personnel, and ever-expanding colonies, community participation in prevention of crimes was crucial. He said they were mulling over introducing inter-connected warning system to tackle the incidents of loots and thefts in the City.

There were two features of Neighbourhood Watch. One of them was to get to really known your neighbour – like how many people live there, who goes to office and when, who stays back and when the house is vacant.

In a neighbourhood one family was given the task of finding out the details of one other family in the area, and then copies of the same were distributed to each neighbour and a copy was also sent to the police station. This way every family came to know about the others in the neighbourhood and police had their own database.

But, the other unique feature of the initiative was to have a parallel connection of alarm bells such that it would ring in all the houses at one go. The alarm bell switch was kept in a place where only the family members knew and could press in an emergency.

Area Superintendent (SB) M S Sikarwar, who was Vijaynagar CSP when this initiative was started, said that for the period the Neighbourhood Watch functioned, thefts and loot incidents had come down dramatically. However, the initiative died when people started quibbling over who would pay for the alarm bells, the electric wire, the fitting and maintenance of the system. The people wanted the government or the police to bear the burden, which was not feasible.

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 13:35 IST