Crime Branch is past its heyday

The unruly scenes at a city hospital between policemen belonging to the Crime Branch and the Vile Parle police station was not only unwarranted, it has devalued the image of the law enforcement agency.

The Crime Branch has always been considered an elite branch of Mumbai Police, and is known for its superb investigation and detection, especially in serious crime such as the underworld, financial crime and organised crime. The city’s police chiefs have always handpicked the best officers and constables from the various police stations for the department. It was a matter of intense pride for the police to be chosen for this arm.

In fact, it was the Crime Branch that was particularly responsible for crippling the infamous city underworld led by ruthless smugglers and killers. It was only when some of its officers were named in the Telgi stamp paper scam that the department lost some of its sheen.

Things have worsened in the last year or so. The department has not only deteriorated in terms of detection and investigation, but is also now seen as desperate to grab whatever it can to show that it is still in working condition. Apart from the recent case where the Crime Branch arrested 13 people attached to the Ravi Pujari gang, there has been no major investigation carried out by the department.

It is nobody’s case that the Crime Branch should be made equal to the police stations. In fact, every police force around the world has an elite team that is the showpiece for the agency. So is the case with the Crime Branch.

Therefore, this is a call for the Mumbai Police incidentally led by a commissioner who was earlier the chief of the crime team to overhaul the system. The Crime Branch does not need an oil change, but a
complete makeover.

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