Cops go missing after midnight

Cops go missing after midnight

If you are thinking about taking a long drive or ride at night, think twice because there would not be enough cops on the streets at night to help you, in case you land in  trouble.

You would find cops, both under the traffic and law and order wing of the Bangalore City Police, on the roads until 11 pm to check for drunken driving but after that they just disappear. This, concede top cops of both traffic and law and order, is because of chronic staff shortage.

Bangalore City Traffic Police has seven sub-divisions and 42 traffic police stations under it. Each traffic sub-division is headed by an assistant commissioner of police and a police station by an inspector of police.

The traffic police work in two shifts and there aren’t enough policemen to work at night. The police say that the people are free to call 100 in case of an emergency. Additional commissioner of police (traffic) B Dayananda informs that there are about 700 vacancies to be filled in the traffic wing of the police department.

“There are only 2,700 police personnel to manage one crore population and 55 lakh vehicles in Bangalore City. The total sanctioned strength of police force for the City is 3,400. In this situation, how is it possible to have the cops manning traffic junctions at all times,” wonders Dayananda. He says that traffic police work on a skeletal basis after midnight.

Additional commissioner of police (law and order) Kamal Pant says staff shortage automatically limits patrolling, especially at night. “We have 113 Hoysalas and 500 Cheetahs sanctioned for patrolling the City at all times.

At any given time, there are at least 200 cheetahs on the road as two-wheelers can easily get into residential areas, lanes and bylanes,” he explains. Kamal feels that the ideal way to overcome staff shortage and ensure efficient police patrolling is to replace manpower with technology.  

But those who venture out at night either for work purposes or a long drive have mixed reactions when it comes to police presence and patrolling at night. People are not very confident about the functioning of Hoysalas and Cheetahs. They say that they don’t see them as often as they should.

Vishal Agarwal, who is a regular night rider, says that he never sees cops on the road after midnight. “I am a regular night rider from majestic to JP Nagar and I don’t see the cops around. There is checking for drunken driving on weekends but on weekdays the roads are free of cops,” feels Vishal. 

Maya Krishnakumar, a chartered accountant, says, “We always travel at night and go to outskirts with friends and family. I always see a lot of patrolling and checking for drunken driving happening on the highways and within the City.”

MG Nithyananda, a businessman, feels that police presence should be tighter at night. “Keeping a strict vigil at night serves as a perfect deterrent against crimes such as chain snatching, eve teasing and vehicle lifting. Those caught must not go scot-free and should be dealt with harshly,” he sums up.

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