Udupi gang war: Inadequate police beat system to blame?


Team Udayavani, May 26, 2024, 10:46 AM IST

Udupi: Recently, there has been a noticeable decrease in police patrols in both urban and rural areas of Udupi district. This reduction is being blamed for a rise in nighttime crimes and has increased fears of gang wars.

Locals say that in the past, police patrols were very regular. Police teams were assigned specific areas to watch over, both in the city and in villages. They had to visit certain places like hotels and shops and sign in to show they were there. This kept police patrols regular and made people feel safe. But now, this system is not followed as strictly, and locals allege this is why crimes are increasing.

Nowadays, police officers on beat duty must update their patrol status through an app. Allegedly, many officers stay inside their vehicles or update the app without actually visiting the locations. The number of patrol vehicles on the roads has also significantly decreased. Even though some places have CCTV cameras, they are often poorly maintained and ineffective.

Earlier, the police had local informants who provided information about any wrongdoings. Now, this system is almost gone. Police only respond after locals report an incident. If the informant system was still strong, many incidents could be prevented, the locals say.

In many parts of the city, police patrols end by 10 PM. Late-night patrols are not effective, and police vehicles are often seen parked with officers inside who do not step out. It is also alleged that illegal activities continue near these parked vehicles without any intervention from the police.

Locals also pointed out that various illegal activities, like drug use, rash driving, and wheeling, occur regularly near the District Commissioner’s office. These activities are also common on the Udupi-Manipal-Parkala road, especially on weekends, causing trouble for motorists.

The members of the public opined that a stronger police patrol system could stop these activities. The people are urging the district administration and police department to take this issue seriously and take appropriate action.

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