Temples Banks Asked To Strengthen Security

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   (2012-07-07 00:00:00)

The police have issued notices to managements of places of worship in the city to up their security in view of the thefts of “sacred” artefacts of antique value from temples in Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts this week.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, Putta Vimaladitya said the notices had been issued under the provisions of the Kerala Police Act.

According to the police, security was found wanting in several religious places of worship in the city. Only few had night watchmen, strong rooms, perimeter fencing, adequate lighting or phone connections.

The police have advised managements of such facilities to install round-the-clock security cameras and burglar alarms linked via mobile or telephone to its Central Control Room.

Officials said the same advisory had been issued to scores of jewellery showrooms, banks and financial institutions. The police have asked banks to post guards at all their Automatic Teller Machine kiosks.

It has also devised a neighbourhood security programme to rope in the services of nearly 6,000 private security guards posted at various establishments in the city.

The scheme aimed at tapping the huge workforce of security guards and coordinating their services with that of the police, an official said.

Training to watchmen

A senior official said that the scheme envisaged providing self-defence training to night watchmen; providing them with essential skills to identify concealed improvised explosive devices and criminals; involving them in collecting local intelligence; and making them work in tandem with police squads.

Database to be prepared

The police would also prepare a database of private security guards. The local station house officer would have the mobile phone numbers of all private security men working in his area of jurisdiction and would keep in touch with them regularly through the local beat officer and members of neighbourhood watch.

The police said associations of residents of high-rise flat complexes would also be brought under its neighbourhood watch scheme soon.

They said high-rise buildings were more vulnerable to burglary than individual homes. Several upmarket apartments owned by Non-Resident Indians were unoccupied for the better part of the year.

A senior police official pointed out that the security of an apartment complex was not in the hands of any single occupant. A high-rise homeowner might often find it difficult to distinguish tenants from visitors. Many flats, chiefly the older ones, lacked manned security desks, burglar alarms, and video surveillance and intercom systems.

The security men were insufficiently trained and residents often used them for running their errands. Security boxes were left unmanned for long hours.

Most high-rises in the city were largely empty during working days. Tenants often go out without properly securing their apartments or alerting the security. In some cases, residents object to the practice of security men challenging their visitors.