Never trust a “cop” with your cash bag!
Police officer on Thursday rattled out a list of dos and don’ts to traders in Burrabazar, warning them against imposters posing as cops. The awareness drive was conducted to dispel fears among the trading community that cheating and related crimes might soar in the run-up to Puja.
“The biggest money transactions take place in these parts of the city. So we decided to start our awareness programme in central Calcutta,” said Sumanjit Ray, the deputy commissioner at detective department II.
Police records reveal that maximum cases of cash bag thefts are reported from the business hub of Burrabazar and Posta. The crime graph shoots up during festivals when business reaches its peak in the congested lanes of Burrabazar.
“We tried to offer simple yet effective steps to help traders keep off trouble during the festive season,” Ray added.
The police offered practical tips to a group of 100-odd traders.
• Depute two persons for collection and deposition of cash in the market
• Call the local police station if you find any suspicious person claiming to be a cop
• Use bags with the store’s name printed on it. This helps detection
• Use a briefcase instead of leather or plastic bags
• Install CCTV cameras inside and outside the stores
• Never get off your car when someone comes and says there is money lying in front of the vehicle
• Don’t leave the briefcase in your car and look nervous while carrying cash
• It’s foolish to give the cash bag to a stranger claiming to be a cop
“It is difficult to fool two men. Plus, in case of an attack, the second person can raise the alarm,” an officer said.
Police sources said the awareness drive was planned after a seven-member gang — including four constables — was busted when they posed as CID officers and tried to rob a Burrabazar businessman a few weeks ago.
Deputy commissioner (central division) D.P. Singh said traders must check the identity cards of officers who come for a raid. “Speak to them to gather as much information as possible and report the matter to the police after they leave.”