BENGALURU: The crime rate in the city has dipped marginally, thanks to the strict measures by the police as part of the election code of conduct. Incidents of chain snatching and robberies have come down in the last two weeks. Police believe that check posts across the city, area domination programs (visiting houses of rowdies and habitual offenders), and difficulty for the offenders to escape after committing an offence are the reasons for the trend. This, however, has also resulted in the core policing taking a backseat, also impacting investigations of crime cases.
Sources in the city police said some police stations, where around five cases were being registered daily before the model code of conduct came into force, are now seeing just 2-3 cases. The police being on high vigil to maintain law and order is said to be the prime reason for this change.
“As part of the election, we have taken several measures like detaining notorious rowdies and taking a bond from habitual offenders that they will not involve in any criminal activities, besides conducting parades of rowdy-sheeters and offenders and policemen visiting history sheeters’ houses and warning them. These measures have played a crucial role in controlling incidents of crime,” a senior police official said.
Further, innumerable check posts at important locations is another hindrance for criminals. “If one commits an offence, the chances of getting caught immediately is very high, as policemen along with central police forces will be at the check posts. This has also acted as a deterrent to those who want to commit offences,” the official added.
However, the elections do not have only positive things to offer as far as crime is concerned. As the short-staffed police department’s complete focus was on maintaining law and order and ensuring incident free elections, the basic policing, especially detection of crime cases, has taken a beating. “With the complete force being used to keep law and order and prevent election related offences, the investigation of regular crime cases has taken a backseat. Only if the case is really sensitive, we will have to give attention. Other cases will have to wait till the elections are over,” another officer revealed.
Budding and small-time criminals taking part in election campaigning has also said to have contributed to the dip in crime rate. “They will get `500-1,000 per day if they go for campaigning and that is enough on them to spend on their vices. They being busy in election campaigning has also, in a way, brought down the crime rate,” said an officer of the rank of DCP.