Thursday, 6 June 2013

Who will police the Chennai police commissionerate?

 Even after the city police installed dozens of CCTV cameras at every possible nook and corner of the city police commissioner’s office that are closely monitored by senior officials, petty thefts of electrical appliances, LCD television sets and even petrol have been taking place on a regular basis at the commissionerate deftly eluding these electronic eyes.

Around three weeks ago, a Samsung LCD television set disappeared mysteriously from the Intelligence Service (IS) administration office at the city police commissioner’s office. Shocked staff of the concerned department who noticed that the TV set was missing when they came to work one morning, frantically searched and inquired amongst each other. When the investigation made no headway, they chose to do what they knew best i.e. replace the stolen TV with a brand new of the same make and model. And, life went on as usual.

A few days later, a constable from the same department traced the missing television set at the home of a superior when he went to the officer’s home. When he pretended to look away, the constable found some tube light sets that also closely resembled ones purchased by the police department recently. “The constable noticed other electrical and electronic gadgets meant for the city police headquarters at the home of the senior police personnel who was a driver,” a police source said. “Police drivers at the commissionerate are very powerful among the ranks and nobody messes with them,” he added.

As there was no formal complaint or any inventory assessment, the vanished television went unnoticed like so many other gadgets that disappear from the city police headquarters on a regular basis.

While these thefts are mostly off-the-record, the on-record thefts at the commissionerate are that of petrol and diesel. It is common knowledge among police circles that most of the private vehicles of police personnel run on fuel paid for by the city police. “Siphoning of petrol is so rampant that sons of policemen often have more than one bike as fuel expenses are nil,” a police official said.

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