Betalbatim’s Sunset beach was the scene of a horrifying gang rape recently. A young couple, said to be locals, were on the beach towards late evening when they came in contact with the trio of rapists. However, while the culprits were apprehended swiftly, the incident highlighted an important fact. That Goa’s beaches are not safe to be on after dark. Going by this, Betalbatim locals insisted that something be done to correct the problem. And it has now resulted in beach patrol in the evenings.
Beach patrol on Sunset Beach leaves locals and other visitors feeling safer
The Betalbatim village panchayat recently held a special meeting to discuss putting various security measures in place. Beach patrol was one of the suggestions made, along with signboards to dissuade mischief makers from drinking on the beach.
Speaking to the Navhind Times, Betalbatim sarpanch Constancio Miranda said, “Since the meeting, we have forwarded a memorandum to the collector as well as put up billboards at the entrance of the four beaches. I’m not sure of whether the police have started motorcycle patrolling but they have increased foot patrolling on the beach. And the result can be seen.”
Now, there signboards at the entrance of the beach stating that it is unsafe after 7 pm. Additionally, there are also warnings that the beaches are under CCTV surveillance and drinking is prohibited. This has led to a decrease in the number of visitors to the beach after dark.
“We have noticed that the number of visitors to the beach after dark have reduced since the incident. Thanks to the efforts of the police who patrol the shore till midnight and sometimes even beyond, the beach is safer now,” said Miranda.
Locals speak up about the new security measures
South Goa beaches are lovely. Therefore when incidents like this one occur, it is quite heartbreaking and upsetting. However, the locals seem pleased with the swift implementation of safety measures that have been put in place now.
Knowing that there is a beach patrol in place has made people feel safer visiting the beach. One Benaulim resident who regularly visits the beach after work, said, “It comes as a reassuring sign to see police officers patrolling the entire beach stretch from Mobor to Betalbatim and beyond. I feel safer knowing that there is someone watching whether it is cops or the installing of the CCTV cameras. I do wish there would be stricter rules in place to stop people from drinking on the beach.”
Another Betalbatim resident who visits the beach with his dog regularly also said he felt safer. “I’ve always noticed couples cuddling in the bushes on the beach shore. Ever since the start of patrolling, the number of couples has reduced but once in a while you still see people hiding,” he said.
Beach patrol will soon be enforced all over Goa’s beaches. While South Goa beaches have already started, North Goa is yet to get a green signal from the authorities. The patrol will be done on foot as well as by motorcycle.
Also, read Beach patrolling commences in South Goa
Information credit – The Navhind Times