Over five months have passed since the Mumbai Police, concerned by rampant chain-snatching incidents in the city, set up a special squad dedicated to detecting and preventing such cases.

With about 20 chain-snatching incidents taking place in the city every day on average, the Mumbai Police began to put up banners informing the general public about the danger. The ACSU was another initiative on part of the police to curb such cases. File pic
With about 20 chain-snatching incidents taking place in the city every day on average, the Mumbai Police began to put up banners informing the general public about the danger. The ACSU was another initiative on part of the police to curb such cases. File pic

Since then, however, it has all but left the Anti-Chain Snatching Unit (ACSU) to fend for itself, failing to provide it with even a telephone, or any other essential equipment. It was only last month that the unit was provided with a one-room office on the third floor of Sahar police station, four months after the team was set up.

Such is the apathy surrounding this department that till date, the unit still does not have vehicles (either two- or four-wheelers), wireless equipment or computers. It’s hardly surprising that the team has not managed to solve a single case since it was first set up in July 2014.

According to police officials, around 20 chain-snatching incidents take place in Mumbai every day, on average. The ACSU was formed under the city police’s special crime branch unit only to deal with such cases, excused from all other tasks, including bandobast duty.

Officers, including one PI, a few APIs and 20 constables, were deployed from the 12 units of the Crime Branch. Of the 25-odd cops comprising the team, the few who have reported to work are currently engaged in collecting FIRs and evidence such as CCTV footage from the police stations where the cases were reported.

According to officials, the squad has only been active since September, and will need more time before it can start showing results. Senior Police Inspector Pramod Kokate, who is heading the unit, said, “We are in the initial stages.

At present, we are collecting data such as FIRs and CCTV evidence to understand the modus operandi of the chain-snatchers. We will begin cracking cases soon.”