COI Day 3: Focus on lack of patrols by Special Ops Command officers in Little India
The Special Operations Command or SOC did not conduct regular patrols in Little India because the crime rate there had gone down by 32 per cent in the last 5 years - and enforcement resources were limited.
Deputy Commissioner of Police T Raja Kumar revealed this when he took the stand on the third day of hearing before the Committee of Inquiry into the Little India Riot.
Mr Raja Kumar had been asked by the four-member Committee why there weren't regular patrols by the SOC which is trained to deal with large law and order situations, in an area where huge crowds and alcohol are involved.
The Deputy Police Commissioner explained that the Little India crowd is by and large well-behaved.
The number of auxiliary police there has also been increased from about 40 to more than 80.
The number of SOC troops, in contrast, has been declining over the years.
Given a scarcity of resources, Mr Raja Kumar said the SOC had to prioritise.
He added that the Police "would want to have the SOC patrol every weekend if they had the resources".
The SOC was deployed on ad-hoc patrols 16 times in Little India last year.
On the day of the incident, the SOC troop on duty was on an anti-terrorism patrol.
The COI hearing continues.
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