How safe is a citizen in Bangalore?

How safe is  a citizen in Bangalore?

Safety is a matter of perception. A citizen gets a feeling of safety only if he and his family members come back home from school or work without getting subjected to any form of crime like theft, molestation, rape, assaults etc.

He feels safe when in his home or out of it, he does not become a victim of crime. If, however, he learns from the media that a woman in Bangalore was brutally attacked in an ATM, or an elderly couple was murdered in their home, or his friend’s wife was assaulted in an auto rickshaw, he thinks that the city in which he lives in is unsafe. Regular press conferences by the police top brass that the crime rate has come down in the city will not assure him of safety.

From the perspective of a former police officer, I feel that Bangalore is as safe or as unsafe as any other city of its size in the world. This is a city which is almost free from terror attacks when compared with others. This is a city where women and children can move about freely without being subjected to molestation or eve teasing, though chain snatching is a big problem to contend with. This is a city where dacoities and robberies are not everyday happenings. However, as a citizen, I don’t feel safe walking on the streets of Bangalore because I don’t know when I will be knocked down by a motorist who vrooms on a one-way street or a two wheeler rider who rides on a footpath. I don’t feel safe driving a car as I fear becoming a victim of road rage. I don’t feel safe to park my vehicle on the road. Like so many others I get frustrated traveling on Bangalore roads at snail’s pace missing my schedules again and again.
But I feel most unsafe when I become a victim of crime. If I go to a Police Station to lodge a complaint, I am certain to be shooed away. If however, I succeed in getting my complaint registered, I am made to feel that a favour is done to me and that I do not get to know the progress of investigation. If in the unlikely event of my stolen property being recovered, I am expected to reward the do-gooders!

I feel safe that an atmosphere of peace pervades Bangalore. Except for a one off public order problem like Dr Rajkumar’s death, gheraos, dharnas and processions are not day to day affairs like other cities and they are all well controlled by police
Despite all such criticism from people like you and me, the city cops are doing their job quietly. There may be an odd PSI who demands money from a foreigner, or there may be an Inspector who uses foul language, there may be an ACP who protects a criminal, but the force as a whole ensures  that while at home or outside a citizen  remains safe.

It is all a matter of perception!

Writer is a former director general of
police, Karnataka.

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