Police to inspect security measures in Mumbai schools

Mumbai: In the wake of the massacre in a Peshawar school last month, Mumbai police have decided to conduct security audits of the schools in the city.

Senior police officials will visit the institutions in the metropolis after January 26 to check if the authorities were complying with the security guidelines laid down by the police department.

After the Peshawar attack, the police had prepared a list of steps to be followed by the schools for the safety of students and staff.

"Assistant Police Commissioners and above rank officials will visit the schools after January 26 to examine if the security measures have been taken up by the school managements," Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said today. If the schools are found to be not following the necessary measures, the police will write to the state Education Department to draw its attention to the issue.

"If they do not follow our guidelines, we will write to the Education Department," Maria warned. At the same time, the school authorities will be sensitised over the issue so that they become aware of the ill effects of lack of or weak security measures.

Mumbai police have asked the city schools to raise the height of the compound walls to eight feet and install barbed fence to prevent intrusion. However, the police have modified the security measures as per the requirements of the schools.

The fresh list of instructions suggested that the schools should put in place proper safety measures at their parking lots, appoint nodal security officers, set different alarm bells, and prepare a standard response plan in case of emergencies.

"We have also asked them to display the telephone numbers of police stations and local police officers on school boards so that they can alert us immediately if they need any help," the police commissioner said.

The police have also asked school authorities to check the tiffin boxes that come from outside and also ensure that there are no traffic jams outside the schools.

"Anybody can enter a school stating they are parents of a student. Hence, we asked them to be alert and if possible, tell parents to seek prior appointment before coming to schools for any work," Maria added.

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