Citizens beocme the eyes and ears of the police department
While the Mumbai police do not have one neighbourhood watch body, there are smaller initiatives that involve citizens. Society Cop from Bandra to Andheri in the western suburbs and Eyes and Ears from Worli to Kurla in the central suburbs are such police initiatives. Puja Changoiwala reports.mumbai Updated: Apr 18, 2012 02:50 IST
While the Mumbai police do not have one neighbourhood watch body, there are smaller initiatives that involve citizens. Society Cop from Bandra to Andheri in the western suburbs and Eyes and Ears from Worli to Kurla in the central suburbs are such police initiatives.
In July 2011, a neighbourhood watch, Society Cop, was started from Bandra and Andheri (west). Society Cop roped in citizens to help keep the suburb safe. There has been an approximate drop of 23% in the number of registered crime cases since then.
Society Cop makes registering senior citizens and staff such as domestic help, watchmen and drivers with the police mandatory. Every police constable across the eight police stations between Bandra and Oshiwara is assigned five housing societies. "The constable is responsible for everything in those housing societies, from issuing permissions, passport verifications to registrations," said said Pratap Dighavkar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 9), who conceptualised Society Cop. The constable is also responsible for the prevention and detection of crime in his area and implementation of various security schemes. The scheme has also managed to weed out 300 suspicious characters in housing societies who fled fearing registerations. The police have brought several criminals and gangsters under surveillance, in a 'one cop-one criminal' and 'one officer-one gangster' scheme.
In February, the Mumbai police launched Eyes and Ears, the brainchild of Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik, where citizens would report suspicious activities in their area. It was launched by the central region of the Mumbai police between Worli to Kurla. Nearly 2,000 citizens have volunteered to act as the department's eyes and ears.
For every police station jurisdiction, the police earmarked. spots that are usually crowded. People such as shopkeepers or residents, who spend the day in the area, were approached and sensitised about things that they should watch out for such as new people, unidentified vehicles and suspicious conversations.