People's participation in combating petty crime essential: police

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Pune, Nov 11 (UNI) Stating that petty crimes need to be nipped in the bud, Superintendent of Police (Pune Rural) Ravindra Kadam called for people's help in combating the growing crime rate.

''It is indeed a matter of great concern that the crime rate has grown manifold in the last few years due to surge in affluence in the rank and file of the society. As a result, the incidents of petty crime have increased even in the rural areas,'' Mr Kadam told UNI here today.

He said one of the most significant factors that the police were unable to take effective action against petty crime is the lack of adequate manpower to take the necessary steps required to control the crimes like chain snatching, which is rampant in the area. The other factors include rise in the population and growing unemployment among the youth, he said.

The strength of the rural police is 2,400, whereas the number is thrice in the city more than 8,000. Along with the lower strength, they are equipped with lesser powers. The ratio of policemen to crime is very unbalanced. Top police officials do send proposals asking for increasing the manpower, but seldom it is actualised.

To curb the incidents of petty crime, the police launched an awareness drive in 2006, whereunder they had been educating the people about what precautionary measures to take. However, due to lack of interest from the people, they have not got the desired results, Mr Kadam said.

He said the incidents of house break-ins had increased due to the people's carelessness and inadequate security measures.

Asked about the activities of mafia, he said it is almost negligible in the rural areas.

The major difference between the working method of rural and urban police is that their counterparts in the city has power to use articles 107, 109 and 110 regarding the prevention of crime. While, they have to forward the cases to the tehsildars causing delay. For example, cases related to the accidental deaths occurred in the year 2001 are still pending to be legalised.

Mr Kadam said the citizens help is very essential to maintain peace and bring the crime rate down. However, they do not come forward voluntarily until they themselves become the victims, he added.

UNI SP SSS AG1523

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