BY: SANTOSHEE GULABKALI MISHRA
THE continuous monitoring and police patrol on the city’s streets in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections has brought about a significant decline in the number of chain-snatching-cases reported across the city.
“The least number of cases have been reported in April — only 52 chain-snatching cases so far in this month,” said Mahesh Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Mumbai Police spokesperson.
Police say the increased vigil has helped them prevent the instances of chain-snatching, an offence they have struggled to rein in. While 2,090 cases of chain-snatching were registered in 2013, only 793 were detected by the police. The maximum number of instances were reported in the Central region that includes Mahim, Matunga, Dadar and Sion. It was followed by the North region that stretches from Jogeshwari to Dahisar.
While the total value of the items stolen last year was around Rs 13 crore, that of the items recovered by the police was Rs 2 crore.
The police have drawn up a list of criminals, thieves and miscreants likely to cause trouble. Many of them have either been arrested, tightly monitored or externed from Mumbai city limits for safety and security during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, police officials said.
In February, 179 cases of chain-snatching were reported whereas in March, after the police patrol was increased, the number dipped to 120 cases.
The early morning hours are hugely patrolled and police officials have also identified possible areas of chain-snatching cases. The police patrolling vans are seen taking rounds near the gardens, temples and also keeping tight vigil on motor-bikers. In an attempt to curb the crime, the police officials have started focusing on these areas and are keeping a watch on stolen bikes.
Patil said, “For the elections to be held peacefully and to maintain law and order, the Mumbai Police has geared themselves up since last month. For the Lok Sabha elections, many criminal activities are monitored by the police 24X7. Road crimes have come down as police patrolling and combating operations are continuously on.”
“The chain-snatching cases started going down from March and in April it has decreased more. On similar lines, vehicle theft, which is generally on the rise closer to elections, has also gone down. Police officers, with the help of their human intelligence and informant, have rounded up potential criminals and have externed them from Mumbai city limits,” said Patil.