In line with the police’s crackdown on chain-snatchings across the city, senior police inspectors in charge of Samta Nagar, MHB Colony, Borivali and Kasturba Marg police stations were each made to serve a day of duty in the North Region police control room last month as punishment for failing to bring down chain-snatching cases under their watch.
Police sources said that as a preventive measure, Additional Commissioner of Police (North Region) Brijesh Singh came up with the punishment for officers who have failed to curtail the number of chain-snatchings in their jurisdiction. Singh has warned all senior police inspectors in the North Region that they would have to serve a day in the control room if cases of chain-snatching are not curbed.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has also instructed senior police inspectors to report chain snatching incidents directly to him.
Constant nakabandis and other policing measures, combined with negative performance marking and punishment for officers in police stations from Jogeshwari to Dahisar, have led to a fall in the number of chain snatching cases recorded in the North Region last month claimed officers.
When contacted, Singh said these were administrative decisions which were a precautionary measure. “In May last year, there were 53 chain snatching incidents reported in a single month from the North region, which have come down to 31 this May. These measures along with other steps have kept the crime rate low,” said Singh.
Singh added that police officers have been instructed to conduct nakabandis in sensitive areas so that robbers see them and are deterred from executing crimes. Police officers were asked to form special squads to identify habitual chain-snatchers and take precautionary measures accordingly. “The crime has also come down to an extent because of these nakabandis,” said Singh.
“Chain-snatchers always target vulnerable women, like senior citizens going to a temple or women coming back from a market, who have a bag in one hand and cannot retaliate. We are now keeping a watch on such women during nakabandis which has helped us in bringing down the crime rate,” said M Pandarmise, senior police inspector from Kandivali police station.
Speaking to Newsline in April, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mahesh Patil, spokesperson for the Mumbai Police, had said while 2,090 cases of chain-snatching were registered in 2013, only 793 were detected by the police. A maximum number of instances were reported in the Central Region that includes Mahim, Matunga, Dadar and Sion, followed by the North Region that stretches from Jogeshwari to Dahisar. Patil stated that while total value of items stolen last year was around Rs 13 crore, that of items recovered by police was Rs 2 crore. In February, 179 cases of chain-snatching were reported in the city, whereas in March, after police patrolling was increased, the number dipped to 120 cases.