... Karnataka government today bluntly told banks to close down such kiosks unless they provide security. As the shocking episode continued to grab media attention in Bangalore and across India, with the CCTV footage of the gory act being beamed into homes and offices on TV and the net, Home Minister K J George held a high-level meeting to discuss measures to curb such incidents.This is an appalling cop-out.
George said more than 600 of the total 2,580 ATMs in the city have no security guards.
"We want them to deploy security guards immediately or close down the things until suitable arrangements have been made... that's why the Police Commissioner (Raghavendra Auradkar) will take appropriate action," he told reporters.
It is convenient and comfortable for the police to not take responsibility for safety. It is convenient and comfortable for the police to impose restrictions on citizens to make their job convenient. But we should not organise society in a way that's convenient for the police. The job of the police is difficult, and we should hold them accountable for delivering on it.
Look at any civilised country. Do banks put a guard on every ATM? Or does the government produce an umbrella of safety over society as a whole? The criminal justice system produces a public good called safety. Safety is non-rival and non-excludable. It is a public good. Mr. George and Mr. Auradkar are wrong when they want to transfer this responsibility down to citizens, asking them to produce safety as a private good.
In economic policy, when a central banker says the central bank cannot control inflation, I say that the person should resign. If you can't deliver low and stable inflation, please leave the central bank, and let someone else try to do your job better. In similar fashion, when a policeman says that the police cannot deliver safety, I would suggest that the policeman should resign. If you can't deliver safety, don't be in the police.