Petty complaints flood helpline to fight rowdies

Petty complaints flood helpline to fight rowdies

Illustration for representation

A helpline set up exclusively to curb rowdyism has turned into a headache for police as most of the calls bring stories of illicit relationships, fight between couples and civil disputes.

The Central Crime Branch (CCB), which set up the helpline, has hardly received any calls that will help them curb anti-social elements. The CCB is now planning to migrate to a four-digit helpline where they hope to receive relevant complaints.

It’s been a week since the CCB launched the helpline (9480801555) to curb the rowdy menace in Bengaluru city. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had transferred IGP (Northern Range) Alok Kumar back to the city as Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) and made S Girish DCP (crime) to control rowdy activities. Soon after taking charge, Kumar summoned all the notorious rowdies to issue them a strict warning and also raided their houses. Police also called a rowdy parade recently and asked them to stop all activities. They were also asked to erase tattoos and get a proper haircut and shave.

The CCB police went a step further and opened the helpline for citizens to approach them if they faced threats from rowdies or had information on such elements.

A police officer managing the helpline said they get about 70 calls everyday, but just one or two calls pertain to rowdies while the rest are related to other issues which can be reported to jurisdictional police. Many of the calls are related to petty crimes.

“Even when a matter is before the court, people call the helpline to complain. We get around 10 calls from other districts. Since it is limited to Bengaluru city, we assist the callers by directing them to report to their jurisdictional police. We also get calls on threats by rowdies from other districts. If similar arrangements are made there, it would be helpful,” the officer said.

DCP (crime) S Girish said apart from rowdy-related crimes, they get calls from parties in civil dispute as well. “People involved in minor quarrels call up to complain that the other party threatened them. Even then, we attend to genuine cases. The less serious ones are sent to jurisdictional police. Calls from outside Bengaluru have become another problem,” he said.

Alok Kumar told DH that the department has decided to open a toll-free number to report only rowdy-related issues, and avoid other calls.