People best source for community safety, says Delhi court

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) A court here has urged “individual citizens” to participate in crime prevention strategies, noting “people are the best resources in keeping their community safe”.

“We do expect security personnel and police to be trained and well-versed in how best to keep us safe but we would be remiss if we as individual citizens do not take upon ourselves some of the responsibilities because it is the people living in the area who know their neighbourhood or area best,” observed Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau.

Participation of people in situational crime prevention strategies could diminish opportunity for crime by modifying the situations, and this can be done by improving surveillance through installation of CCTV cameras, restricting use of alcohol, restricting entries in the area by declaring areas as protected area or installing security gates,” said the court in a recent order dismissing the plea of shopkeeper Nawab Mian seeking removal of an entry gate as it affects his ingress and egress.

Nawab Mian, who runs a a shop in Nai Basti, Bara Hindu Rao in central Delhi, in his plea termed the act of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) as contradictory, claiming the civic body has done it under the pressure of land mafia and builders and political leaders wanted to affix the tiles over the road and also tried to remove the sewer line and manhole which is necessary for maintaining cleanliness.

He said that the huge gate installed in the area was meant for restricting transport vehicles in the area.

The court however observed that residential welfare associations in active partnership with the government bodies and local police have installed the security gates in various places as per laws.

“These security gates are now a need of the hour and are being installed for purposes of security and safety of the residents of the area at many places,” it said.

“Installation of these security gates is a reflection of community intervention and contribution in Situational Crime Prevention Strategies by taking responsibility in modifying the situations in which offences occur which could diminish opportunity for crime by restriction on unobstructed movement in certain areas,” the court noted in the order made available on Saturday.

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