Palghar police are keeping 'one eye for the city' with citizens

Nov 08, 2018, 13:19 IST | Suraj Ojha

Start unique initiative with citizens' help, of having at least one CCTV at every establishment trained on the road outside

Palghar police are keeping 'one eye for the city' with citizens
The Palghar police have roped in several citizens as part of their initiative for better surveillance of the area. Pics/Hanif Patel

The Palghar police have come up with a novel idea to keep an eye on the city, with the help of citizens. As part of the unique police-public partnership initiative, the cops are integrating the old with the new — constables will patrol around societies, shops, banks, hotels, petrol pumps, etc, while all these premises and establishments have been requested to put up at least one CCTV focused on the street, in a bid to capture any wrongdoing or untoward incident and help the police in detecting it. The initiative, titled 'one eye for the city', is the brain child of Additional Superintendent of Police Vijaykant Sagar. It has been implemented on a pilot basis in the Vasai division of the Palghar police, which has seven police stations under it.

The trigger
House break-ins have been rife in the area, where most of the residents are office-goers, who stay there for the low property prices. Such thefts are particularly a worry during festivals, when most people head out to enjoy the vacations. Other crimes, namely chain-snatching, molestation and eve-teasing, are a menace too. Sagar said, "It's been a month since we started this project, and we have received a good response from people. "Seven police stations fall in my jurisdiction, and I have asked the senior inspector from each one to tell respective personnel to visit societies, hotels, malls and cinema houses, and explain our project to the people and convince them to be a part of it."


Eyes all over
One of the reasons why the police decided to involve citizens in the initiative was the steady rise in crimes in the area. According to the Vasai police, in 2014, 123 chain-snatching incidents were reported, rising to 132 in 2015. The number fell to 97 in 2016 but went up again last year (100). This year has seen 132 cases so far.

"Hence, we wrote to the municipal authorities and asked them to install at least 69 high-end cameras having 360-degree rotation at 59 spots, including entry-exit points and other sensitive locations, to cover as much of Vasai as possible," Sagar said. Citizens, too, jumped in to help the police — members of societies and hotel owners changed the direction of 192 existing CCTV cameras, besides putting up 48 new ones in different spots, to cover adjoining streets. Sagar added, "An NGO donated 20 CCTVs, while residents from a catholic-predominant area donated 16. These are being put up in isolated areas for better surveillance."

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