Visakhapatnam: The innovative Police Night Pahara by Vizag City Police (VCP) has won praise from travellers who take night-time rides to bus and railway stations in the port city. This is a first-of-its-kind police service in Andhra Pradesh, started here on August 24.
Traveller Srinivasa Rao said, "I was surprised to see the police's support for my safe journey from Dwaraka Bus Station to Madhurawada after midnight, at 1am. I was travelling along with my teenage kids at that time."
Another traveller, Leela, praised the system and suggested, "It will be great if the police also keep track of women traveller's GPS location on request till they reach their destination safely."
The VCP collects details of passengers as also drivers of autos and cabs at 16 designated locations under this initiative launched on August 24.
"We have collected details of 698 vehicles and 1405 passengers so far through our 32 staff at 16 locations in the city," said ACP Suryasravan, who heads the Night Pahara.
The city police introduced the Pahara of police intervention at the alighting points of travellers during night time -- from 10pm to the early hours of 5am -- as a crime prevention strategy so as to ensure the safety and security of the travellers and their belongings.
Two police constables, both male, will be posted at each designated location - Kurmannapalem, Old Gajuwaka, NAD, Murali Nagar, Gurudwara, Maddilapalem, Rama Talkies, Hanumanthawaka, Car-shed, Urvasi, TC, Vepagunta, Bheemili, Marikavalasa and Venkojipalem.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, VCP commissioner Manish Sinha said, "Since nearly 35-40 per cent of crimes occurs during the night, we have initiated this service. The idea was developed during our reviews of internal crime and the feedback we got. We will improve on this system soon. We seek suggestions from the people for friendly policing."
Passengers have in the past faced sexual assault, theft, attacks on vehicles by thieves, house-breaking, eve-teasing, diversion of vehicles to isolated places, collection of hefty travel charges from passengers and drunken driving, among others, during the night hours.
The railways, the APSRTC and private travel operators in Vizag engage in night-time services to long destinations like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and short-distances like Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Vijayawada and Tirupati.
35-40 per cent of crimes occur at night
Police Pahara service available from 10 pm to 5 am at 16 locations
2 constables will escort travellers from each location
Cops collect details of passengers and vehicle drivers
Details of 698 vehicles and 1,405 passengers collected