Increasing bike patrolling, installing complaint boxes outside every police station, permitting entry into stations only after sanitisation, stationing duty officers (DOs) at the entrance of police stations and monitoring registered criminals — these are some of the key plans adopted by Delhi Police against the backdrop of the Covid pandemic and the lockdown.
A senior police officer said that since the situation is not going to change over the next few weeks, a protocol is being put in place across police stations.
“We have restricted entry of private persons in police complexes. To provide them immediate help, we have asked our DOs to sit near the entrance of all police stations. If they want to meet an investigation officer (IO), they can inform the DO about the case, who will then call the IO concerned to the designated place,” said JCP (western range) Shalini Singh
In some districts, DCPs have asked SHOs to install complaint boxes for local residents to drop their complaints. The IO will then call them. “If a complaint requires immediate attention, we will attend to it at the spot. We are also marking social distancing circles at the entrance of all police stations in the district, and will communicate keeping in mind social distancing norms. Our IOs are even communicating with complainants through video conferencing calls,” said DCP (Southwest) Devender Arya.
With traffic movement increasing on roads due to relaxations, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava directed DCPs to change their strategy of setting up pickets on arterial roads and make alternate arrangements.
“We have increased bike patrol and have tweaked our picketing strategy. Pickets have been placed to stop snatchings and unauthorised movement of migrants. Segregation of personnel performing different duties is being ensured — those at pickets, on patrol or on beat duty have a fixed charter of deployment that prevents their intermingling with staff at police station on static duty in the building,” said DCP (Dwarka) Anto Alphonse.
To check street crime once the lockdown is lifted, the police chief has asked all DCPs to monitor activities of registered criminals and stolen property receivers in their areas.
The direction comes against the backdrop of Tihar Jail releasing over 3,500 inmates — 1,056 convicts on emergency parole, 2,177 undertrials on interim bail and 301 on regular bail — to decongest the prison. However, there are concerns about some of them resuming criminal activities.
“Recently, a man was stabbed in Southeast Delhi’s Pul Prahladpur on May 12 by two persons and his phone was snatched. The two men were later arrested, and police found that one of them had been released on bail on April 20 from Tihar,” said an officer.
In a recent crime review meeting, the police chief is learnt to have expressed concern over crimes being reported at night. “He directed DCPs to monitor activities of known criminals, identify receivers of stolen property and conduct raids at their homes as part of a special drive. The raiding party should be equipped with PPEs, face shields, gloves and masks,” said a senior officer.
DCP (East) Jasmeet Singh said, “We are keeping tabs on the movement of registered criminals in our area and monitoring activity of stolen property receivers. We will take appropriate legal action if we find anything against them.”
In Northwest district, geysers have been installed in all police stations and hand sanitisation facilities set up at the entrance. “We have installed geysers in all bathrooms of all police stations and barracks, so people can take a bath… we are allowing entry only after sanitisation,” said DCP (Northwest) Vijayanta Arya.