mid day editorial: Background checks of maids are a must

Published: Jun 23, 2018, 06:03 IST | midday correspondent | Mumbai

The thieves were afraid of being found out and killed the couple in that fear. The police have zeroed in on the maid and her boyfriend who have killed because they were in debt

Representational picture
Representational picture

A couple has been strangulated in their Khar home and the motive seems to be robbery from initial reports. An eighty-plus-year-old couple living in an upmarket building in Khar West was strangulated to death at night, reports say, after their domestic help and her boyfriend tried to rob some ornaments from their home when one of them woke up, while they were in the process of stealing the ornaments. The thieves were afraid of being found out and killed the couple in that fear. The police have zeroed in on the maid and her boyfriend who have killed because they were in debt.

This tragic double murder shows how vulnerable the elderly still are. It makes us even more aware that our servants must be registered with their details and photograph at the nearest police station. Do inform the local police if you are a senior citizen or a senior couple living alone. In these days, when there is a crunch of caretakers and domestic help, people are apt to employ servants without too stringent background checks and also do not give their details to the local police. While checks can have loopholes, it is better to ask for references or within the building if people know about the servant you are going to employ.

Finally, old persons must also have some recourse, a phone that is close at hand, a bell that can be used as a warning next to their bedside, or even an alarm that can ring out as temporary, stop-gap measures that can be useful in alerting neighbours or even startling would-be criminals. Of course, we must factor into account that these may not work or the elderly may not be able to use them, but it is good to have them. The old, frail and weak are easy prey. Let non-profits, the police and even the local community help in small ways to make them safer and give them a modicum of security.

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