Chennai residents help police with patrolling neighbourhoods – The Hindu

Chennai News

Residents of Mylapore’s Station Vigilance Committee are assisting the police every night, in an initiative aimed at reducing burglaries

In a bid to strengthen the bond between the police and the public and to reduce burglaries, a Station Vigilance Committee (SVC), comprising mainly residents of Mylapore, has started assisting the police during the night patrol. Initially this is being carried out in four police station limits, and will be extended to others soon.

The SVC in Mylapore is almost 70 years old and has over 40 members aged between 25 to 60. However it was revived four years ago, and recently, the members met G. Shashank Sai, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mylapore.

“The SVC has been assisting in crowd management during festivals at the Kapaleeswarar temple and Parthasarathy temples. Hence I thought we could use their volunteers for night patrols in residential localities,” said Mr. Shashank Sai.

Since many of the SVC members are part of the Mylapore Residents Welfare Association, the police officer felt that they would be able to identify locked houses easily. “As of now, 12 volunteers are assisting the police in patrolling residential localities in Kotturpuram, Mylapore, Abhiramapuram and Pattinapakkam police station limits. We are on duty from 11 p.m to 2 a.m,” said K Viswanathan, secretary, Mylapore Residents Welfare Association and advisor at the SVC.

Special attention is given to locked houses in each neighbourhood. “We have gathered all the details about each locality. As more volunteers join, they will assist the police in patrolling the localities from 2 a.m to 4.30 a.m,” added the police officers. However they will only assist the police, since they have a good knowledge about the infrastructure of the locality. They cannot question people or harass them. “If they do so, their service will no longer be used,” the officer added.

Mr. Viswanathan said that this will improve the bond between the police and the residents. “It will also benefit the society on the whole,” he added.

K. S. Shankar, general secretary, SVC, said that many years ago the volunteers used to assist the police in patrolling, during bandobast and crowd management in the locality. “We used to be on duty for close to eight hours every day, especially during temple festivals. We also helped the law enforcement agencies during the COVID-19 lockdown to carry out vehicle checks,” he said.