The Haryana Police have warned that masks worn to fight coronavirus could also help criminals go undetected.
In an advisory issued to the state's jewellers, banks, gold loan companies as well as other establishments dealing in cash, the police has asked them to ensure that people entering their premises must take off their mask or face covering once in front of a CCTV camera to prevent robberies.
The police also urged people to share information about those claiming to offer 'genuine' movement passes amid the ongoing lockdown in return for money.
The state's Director General of Police (DGP) Manoj Yadava has ordered all district police chiefs to ensure that jewellers, banks, gold finance companies etc. in their respective jurisdiction display the advisory asking people to remove their mask in front of their establishments.
The DGP in a statement here informed that wearing of face mask at work and public places has been made compulsory by the government in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Now, with the gradual opening up of the lockdown, there is a possibility of criminal elements taking advantage of the difficult times by wearing face masks. Not only known habitual offenders, but new criminals could also indulge in anti-social activities like theft/robbery,"Yadava said.
"If any unfortunate incident happens, the criminals can be apprehended with the help of the photograph captured in the CCTV cameras,"he added.
The police chief also advised people against carrying large amount of cash while going out.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Navdeep Singh Virk said some touts are active on the social media and cheating gullible people especially migrants on the pretext of providing them movement passes.
"Few instances have also come to light where false lockdown passes were being used to ferry stranded persons," he said.
He urged the people not to fall prey to touts and call the Police Control Room 100 or toll free number 1800-180-2200 or the nearest police station if they find anyone asking for money for issuance of fake lockdown passes anywhere in the state.
"Any complaint in this regard can also be made online on HarSamay Portal. The informer's identify will not be revealed," he said, while urging the citizens to get movement passes only through official channels.