Unsmart city 2015: For city police, petty crime in fringe areas continue to pose a challengehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/unsmart-city-2015-for-city-police-petty-crime-in-fringe-areas-continue-to-pose-a-challenge/

Unsmart city 2015: For city police, petty crime in fringe areas continue to pose a challenge

As Pune enters 2016, riding hopes of donning a new avatar, Newsline takes stock of areas in the city that remained more or less ‘unsmart’ in 2015.

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The control room at the Pune police commissionerate. (Express Photo)

THE year 2015 came with its own set of challenges for the Pune City Police. While on one hand, the police were able to take concrete steps to curb the organised crime in general and take a stock of land grabbing cases by criminal gangs, crime such as chain snatching and road robberies, especially in the fringe areas, continued to pose a big challenge.

In the last one year, Pune police have put behind bars as many as 150 criminals, mostly from the notorious gangs, under the provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDA). Even the number of chain snatching cases have come down from 450 in 2014 to around 370 in 2015 with a good detection rate of over 60 per cent, however, the cases of the chain snatching and road robberies in the fringe areas have not come down.

In April 2015, Pune city police saw a change of guard as police commissioner KK Pathak and joint commissioner Sunil Ramanand took over the two top posts of the city. Pathak did make a statement initially by leading the anti-chain snatching patrolling from the front by being present at the barricade points, thus sending a good message down the hierarchy. In August, Pune got its comprehensive network of over 1,250 Closed Circuit TV cameras, which are proving to be good aid for detection.

Lack of security in fringe areas
Keeping in mind the ever-expanding geographical limits of the city, especially with the inclusion of the adjacent villages in the city jurisdiction, four police stations in the fringe areas of Wakad, Dighi, Chandan Nagar and Sinhagad Road began functioning. These police stations were carved out of older jurisdictions of other police stations along with the added villages. However, the long wait for these police stations for adequate strength continues even today.
It has been observed that less police presence in these areas proves favourable for the robbers and chain snatchers. There are several suburbs in the Pune city, whose demands for a separate police chowky are pending from many years.

Need for more patrolling
It has been observed that areas where a large number of working population resides, the robbers and chain snatching incidents are on the rise, specially targeting the people who are alone or are in secluded areas. Police agree that increasing patrolling in these areas would definitely deter the criminals on the prowl. ENS