Joao Souza M | NT
Following a spate of house break-in cases, Navelim villagers have joined hands with Margao town police and formed night patrolling teams of citizens which are assisting the police to keep burglars at bay.
Villagers patrol the streets of the village from 11 pm to 4 am daily and have already foiled four attempts of house break-ins while also chasing away anti-social elements from the village. Eleterio Carneiro, a teacher by profession, said that two teams made up of 10 dedicated volunteers from Mandopa and Moddi areas move around in the village till 4 am on a daily basis in two shifts from 11 pm to 2 am and 2 am to 4 am.
He further informed that the idea was conceptualised some three years back after the Superintendent of Police, South called upon the village panchayat to encourage community patrolling to prevent robberies and house break-in cases in the village.
Carneiro claimed that he and Jose D’Souza were the first to patrol Mondopa area and foiled a house break-in attempt even though he was attacked by the assailants who made good their escape. He said that he had to give up as the efforts took a toll on his health but after more villagers came to their support, he rejoined.
Carneiro informed that the team also coordinates with the police night patrol teams and nakabandi teams at night and have found several cases of people moving suspiciously in the village at night and foiled attempts to break into houses. He informed that the team also found cases where houses could become soft targets with door and windows being left open in the night and alert the owners and prevented crime.
Carneiro said that if they notice any untoward incident, they immediately inform the police control room at Margao police station. He informed that the team had spotted two groups one of professional burglars and a group of youth moving in suspicious manner and had informed the police who had carried out combing operations till the wee hours in the morning. Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Margao police inspector C L Patil said that the people of Navelim are doing a commendable job and have shown by example how people’s participation can help in tackling crime. He said that while the team does patrolling on their own, they also seek help of the police roberts and have also helped chase down a criminal and the police too have extended full support to community patrolling team from Navelim.
He said that people from other parts of Salcete should also take a cue from people of Navelim and help police keep criminals at bay. He said that this will instill fear in minds of anti-social elements that if they are not caught by the police they will be surely caught by vigilant citizens. This will surely bring the crime rate down, he concluded.