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‘Porous borders, socio-economic conditions key factors’: Delhi Police Commissioner

Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik on efforts to curb snatching, a proposal to amend the law for stricter punishments, and how street crime is an issue across the world

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi |
Updated: September 30, 2019 3:08:40 am
‘Porous borders, socio-economic conditions key factors’ Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik

What is there no let-up in snatching cases?

Crimes like snatching have troubled citizens from time to time. There are many factors such as porous borders and socio-economic conditions, like upscale residential neighbourhoods being surrounded by colonies of the under-privileged. However, constant efforts have been made to contain it.

What efforts in particular?

In 2017, we had formed anti-snatching teams at all police stations. Their performance is reviewed personally by district DCPs, such as the steps they have taken to keep a tab on snatchers released from jail and efforts made to catch offenders. Recently, we also launched Raftaar patrols, giving them specific directions to focus on movements of youth on bikes. We also launched 15 Prakhar vans — street-crime patrol vans exclusively meant to patrol areas affected by such crimes.

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READ | Hardlook: The unsafe streets

What do statistics suggest about street crime in the city?

Street crime is a priority focus area and we are working hard on it. Statistically speaking, there has been a downward trend over the last two years, but we do agree a lot more needs to be done. If you look at street crime in most other cities of the world, it has been a problem there as well. We don’t intend to compare ourselves with other cities, but the fact remains it has been an issue. For instance, if you look at Washington DC, incidents of crime, including murder, rape and street crime, per lakh population will be much higher than Delhi. Here, on account of greater media coverage of such incidents, crime comes more in limelight.

Haryana has made the law more stringent to deal with snatching. Is there a similar proposal by Delhi Police?

We initiated a proposal last year to amend laws dealing with such crimes to include harsher punishment, like Haryana. The matter is pending with the Delhi government, we have been following it up. It has to be sent for approval to the L-G, which is yet to be done. It will help create a deterrent if laws are harsher; it will make it difficult for snatchers to come out on bail.

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