The Chennai city police have reintroduced foot patrolling in many areas to increase visible policing. The old system was discontinued after the advent of motorised vehicles and CCTV cameras. The restoration of foot patrolling is expected to increase police visibility in busy areas, enhance the sense of safety among citizens and build bridges between citizens and the police.
M.S. Baskar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Public Relations, said, “On instructions of City Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, this new system of patrolling has been introduced in all police districts. All officers in their jurisdictions are doing foot patrol in the interior areas.”
Police officers got down from their vehicles and went around the streets of T. Nagar, Madhavaram, Washermanpet and other police districts. Uniformed personnel went door to door and listened to the grievances of the public relating to law and order issues, such as selling of ganja and narcotic drugs, illegal sale of liquor, movement of suspicious persons or disturbance caused by anti-social elements.
K. Balakrishnan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Madhavaram, said, “Instead of moving on vehicles on the arterial roads, our officers have been told to visit the interior areas by foot so as to familiarise themselves with the residents…”
On Wednesday night, M. Mahimaiveeran, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Valasaravakkam, led the patrolling in VOC Street, Tirumalai Nagar and Ramapuram. Mr. Mahimaiveeran said, “Our aim was to create a good interface with the public. The phone numbers of officers and men were shared with the public to get the inputs on illegal activities.”
However, residents feel the existing patrolling system needs improvement, and there are complaints of policemen not visiting their areas. V. Rajagopal, president of the Anna Nagar Western Extension Residents Welfare Association, said, “Jeep patrolling is frequently done but patrolling by two-wheelers is rarely done in our areas.” K.L. Balasubramanian of R.K. Nagar Residents Welfare Association, Mandaveli, said, “The new system of foot patrolling may bring results in crime prevention… The police should better the existing system and popularise mobile applications and social media accounts so that the public can reach them easily at the time of crisis since most residents have smart phones.”