If you are traveling anywhere between Goregaon and Borivli, chances are you will end up hearing announcements blaring out of a loudspeaker in a police van alerting you of thieves, chain snatchers and fake cops.
Taking inspiration from broadcast messages that were often used to announce the arrival of a new film in town, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mahesh Patil from Zone XI has installed loudspeaker systems with recorded messages in nine patrolling vans in his region.
According to Patil, repeated pleas through pamphlets and booklets were falling on deaf ears, and so he decided to use this novel approach of creating awareness amongst people. “Citizens ignored messages on notice boards and booklets that we had earlier distributed to alert them of chain snatchers.
We noticed that many people didn’t even know where the police station of their area was,” Patil added. A few months ago when Patil visited a temple he heard similar announcements being made to alert people of molesters and thieves.
“I called up an engineer to figure out if police vans could be fitted with such announcement systems. On Holi we decided to initiate the effort in nine vans,” Patil said. Apart from creating awareness, this system also helps in making the presence of police evident to miscreants, who often commit crimes in crowded areas. During patrolling duty, a van typically has a police sub inspector and four constables who play the recorded messages.