Faridabad Police has found itself facing a new worry amidst the coronavirus outbreak—the fear that criminal elements in the district will misuse the direction of masks being mandatory to carry out crimes, motivated by the fact that their identities will be difficult to ascertain with half their faces being covered in CCTV footage.
In the hope of preventing such an occurrence, the Commissioner of Police, KK Rao, has directed that every person visiting establishments like banks and jewellery shops will have to remove their masks in front of the establishment’s CCTV camera before entering the premises.
“The Director General of Police, Haryana has issued directions that, in relation to COVID-19, the government has made it mandatory for every person to wear a mask in public places. With the lockdown opening slowly, goldsmith shops, showrooms, offices of loan companies involved in cash transactions, have also started opening. Jewellery stores/showrooms have always been the targets of criminals. There is a strong possibility of criminal elements taking advantage of this situation. Criminal elements can carry out crimes like theft or loot by wearing masks on their faces and, because of their masks, CCTV cameras installed there will not be able to capture their full photo and it will become difficult to catch them,” Rao said in the direction issued on Friday.
In the order, he went on to direct all police officials to ensure, “every person entering each jewellery shop/showroom, bank, gold loan company such as Muthoot Finance and others in their jurisdictions stands in front of the CCTV camera installed there and removes his mask so that his face can be recorded in the CCTV camera and after completing his work at the shop/company he again puts on his mask.”
The order also stated that a copy of the same will be provided to every “jewellery shop/showroom, bank, gold loan company like Muthoot Finance and others” so that they can paste it at their entrance.
Police PRO Sube Singh further advised people to adopt this same practice at their homes as well as a precautionary measure. “When any person comes to your door to meet you, ensure you make them remove their mask before opening the door so that you can identify them,” said PRO Singh.
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