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Policing outsourced: Pvt security firms man thanas

Lalit KUMAR

Thursday 29 April 2004, by KUMAR*Lalit

GHAZIABAD: In this day and age of outsourcing, it was really only a matter of time before someone figured it out. The police force is hopelessly stretched by election duty.

Meanwhile, private security agencies are burgeoning by the day. Having found that simply working hard wasn’t solving the problem, the Ghaziabad Police decided to work smart - and hired private agencies to man day-to-day law and order operations.

The results are visible outside police stations in Sahibabad, Noida, Ghaziabad - in fact, in most thanas of the district.

Drive by and you’ll see private security personnel guarding the lock-up or driving police Gypsys.

Obviously, they can’t be armed with police guns. So, they stand outside lock-ups with lathis.

Considering the high crime rate in Ghaziabad, this seems a rather inadequate arrangement from a law and order point of view. But then, it’s better to have someone guarding the thana than no one at all.

Over 75 per cent of the local police force has been dispatched to other districts on election duty. And, these policemen are not likely to return before May 7.

Police officials here admit the legal guards have "no legal sanctity". "When there is insufficient manpower, we have to make some standby arrangements," says district police chief J N Singh.

A Noida thana chief said he had only 15 policemen. The remaining 10 are all security agency personnel.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Thursday, April 29, 2004.

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