BENGALURU: The usual image most of us have of policemen on duty during the nights is of checkposts, patrolling vehicles and the odd duo on a bike, rifles at the ready. But policing involves a lot more than just reacting to crime, according to officers, who take up night rounds of Bengaluru and do not shy away from making their presence felt in the most unsafe areas as well.
CE got the chance to accompany the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), as well as an Assistant Commissioner of Police on their night rounds on a Friday night and take a closer look at what the city’s crime-fighters do.
“Police patrolling officers are assigned areas to monitor. By patrolling the same areas on a regular basis, they get to familiarise themselves with the area, the residents and the issues. They can then spot something that is off or unusual,” explained DCP (Crime) S Girish.
On Fridays, the DCP is also responsible for the west zone of the city, supervising four ACPs and 12 police inspectors. The night begins with Girish getting on the police radio to enquire about the locations of his ACPs. His vehicle then does the rounds of checkposts to ensure they are in order.
Bustling areas like SJ Park, MG Road, Anil Kumble circle and others, which fall on the route for the night, wear an abandoned look as only a few motorists are found hurrying back home. At MG Road, two inspectors report in about having checked up on ATM’s and jewellery stores.
A large part of night rounds are about optics and ensuring that possible trouble causers see that the police has their eye on them. After the initial checking up on police preparations, the time comes to visit the spots where rowdy-sheeters are known to be staying.
“My last case was seven months ago. I stay with my mother and my handicapped brother who runs a small hotel in front of the house,” said Nanjunda, a rowdy-sheeter who has three cases filed against him including one of dacoity. These visits are also to ensure that these elements are present and and know that they are being watched by the police.
The next stop is RT Nagar and the residence of another rowdy sheeter Nadeem Thaj. Arrested on murder charges in 2016, Thaj is working as a cab driver with one of the cab aggregators in the city. “He was part of the CCB raid conducted a few months ago and was arrested for a brutal murder,” explains Girish as he enquired with Thaj on his current status.
The third visit was habitual offender Nandeesh, a 19-year-old, with three cases against him all filed within a year’s time. Currently working as a security guard, he was charged with mobile and chain snatching cases.
“There will always be some background to how these rowdies start initially. For example, Nandeesh’s father left his family when he was young and so for money purpose, he turned to such activities,” says Girish.