Alok Kumar takes charge: New police chief wants officers to focus on motor vehicle theft cases

Verma (58) succeeded B S Bassi, who was at loggerheads with the AAP government on a range of issues in the last one year, to become the 20th police commissioner of the force with a strength of over 80,000 personnel.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Updated: March 1, 2016 2:53 am
Alok Kumar Verma, delhi police Commissioner, Delhi Police, JNU row, B S Bassi, AAP, delhi news Outgoing Police Chief BS Bassi hands over the charge to Alok Verma at Police Headquarters Monday.(Express Photo by Oinam Anand)

Senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma (58) Monday took charge as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police, succeeding B S Bassi. In an interaction with his colleagues, Verma asked all officers to start “solving motor vehicle theft cases”, apart from registering such cases.

Verma has directed all district heads to activate their specialised units, especially the anti-auto-theft-squads (AATS) of their concerned district. After the launch of the Motor Vehicle Theft (MVT) app, detection rate of these cases has dropped in the last two years.

Minutes after he took charge, Verma called a meeting of all special commissioners, joint commissioners, deputy commissioners at the conference hall of Delhi Police Headquarters.

“Verma was not satisfied with the percentage of solved auto-lifting cases and the current work of specialised units of every district. He asked all district heads to issue directions to the AATS — formed to detect such cases,” said the sources.

While close to 8,900 more vehicles were stolen in Delhi last year compared to 2014, the number of vehicle thieves arrested decreased drastically by close to 50 per cent during the same time period, as per police data.

During the annual police press conference in January, Bassi had said police couldn’t detect 90 per cent of auto thefts and asked people “who can afford” technology to depend on it to avoid such situations.
“Majority of motor vehicle thefts registered go undetected. People are requested to mount surveillance to avoid any loss. Owners should also go for a good alarm system and get a proper insurance cover for their vehicle,” Bassi had said.

‘Focus on petty crimes as well’

In his first address to the force, Verma — a 1979 batch IPS officer — said ensuring security to senior citizens, women and weaker sections of society will remain his priority areas. “Factors like community, caste and religion should never obstruct our functioning. I expect my force to focus not only on grievous offences but also on petty crimes which troubles the common man…,” he said.

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