NEW DELHI: Top officers in Delhi Police say there are three sets of people active in the city at night — the migrant working class with little money but loads of aspirations, the suddenly rich property owners with no vocation and the criminals who come from fringe villages for fun and easy money. Brushes between these groups leads to tension, police said.
"We have studied crimes committed after 11pm and found the accused mostly belongs to one of these three groups. Not all of them commit crime. But the very structure and make-up of these groups and the sheer difficulty in reaching out to them is leading to spiralling of crime," said a senior police officer.
Sources said the reasons for these groups being involved in crime are varied. "The first group stays away from their families for years. They are attracted to the big city life. However, they have little means to attain it," he said.
The second group is the landed gentry. They have enough resources to live a good life. But they have poor intellectual ability and speak little English and there is, sometimes, a sense of being left-out as they cannot move in high society and pick up their lingo, the official said. Police said though these groups do get into trouble, it is not often that they get involved in serious crime and "they often end up as victims, too".
The third group is the most dangerous of the lot. With over 100 entry points for them across Delhi — very few of them monitored by cops — these men from Delhi's fringe areas including outer, trans-Yamuna and southwest Delhi and UP and Haryana have easy access to the commercial and entertainment hubs in the city. With over 1,300 unlit roads, targets come easy.
Agencies blame each other even as cops take the maximum flak.
Top officers rue the fact that Delhi Police — which once prided itself on its cosmopolitan culture — must now recruit its men from UP, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Previously, we went to each state for recruitment but allegations of malpractices were made during selection and the method scrapped. Cops drawn from Haryana and UP come from a feudal set-up and getting women recruits becomes a major hurdle. The feudal set-up also leads to low-ranked cops passing easy judgments on women. We do train them, but changing years of mental block takes time,"
said a source.
Cops recall the time when recruitment was made from as far as Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the educated class joined the force in large numbers in middle-level positions like assistant sub-inspectors and sub-inspectors.
With no provision for police colonies in Delhi anymore and just eight per cent of the lower rung cops now getting government accommodation, recruitment from beyond UP has certainly dried up.
"We have often found that both cops and criminals are coming from the same social milieu. Only intensive psychological training can help recruits adopt a different worldview," said an officer.