New low for cops: Chain-snatching cases cross 400 mark this year
As police commissionerate records massive increase in chain-snatching cases compared to sub-300 figures of past years, cops ascribe spurt to rising gold prices and ease with which crime can be committed; Kothrud, Sahakarnagar, Warje, Swargate, Hadapsar worst affected
Chain-snatchers continue to outsmart the police in the city, with seven cases reported within the jurisdiction of different police stations in the last two
days. As far as the city police commissionerate is concerned, chain-snatching incidents reached record levels this year with 397 cases of chain-snatching reported till the end of October this year. The number of cases reported in 2011 was 296.
The latest seven cases were reported in Kothrud, Bhosari, Dattawadi and Sadashiv Peth. Four of the chain-snatching incidents took place within the jurisdiction of the Kothrud police station. At 54 cases till the end of October, the Kothrud police station is also at the top of the chart of chain-snatching incidents in the city.
“We admit that there is a significant rise in chain-snatching cases compared to last year, as in 2011 the number of reported cases was 296, of which 192 were detected by the police,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Vinod Satav said. He said the rise in incidents of chain-snatching was not limited to the city, but even Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad, Thane and Solapur were witnessing a similar spurt in the crime.
“We have already arrested several suspects in this regard, but it seems that new people are turning to this kind of crime as it is the easiest to commit compared to all other crimes,” Satav said. “The soaring gold prices are also a prime reason behind the spurt in cases of chain-snatching.” He said a study showed that in most of the cases, it was women over the age of 50 who were targeted.
Satav said women over 50 were less likely to put up a resistance and most chain-snatchers were careful to target unaccompanied women on less crowded roads. “Areas like Kothrud, Sahakarnagar, Warje, Swargate and Hadapsar, which are the most affected areas in the city, have many old women taking a walk in the morning and evening and chain-snatchers take advantage of this,” he said.
The officer said as Kothrud suburb was the most affected part of the city, additional police officials had been assigned to the police station there and foot patrolling increased in areas like Mahatma Society, Bhusari Colony, Alankar Society, Karve Nagar, Dahanukar and other areas that frequently witness chain-snatchings.
He said that in accordance with directions issued by Commissioner of Police Gulabrao Pol, a special drive against chain-snatching would be started soon and help of some members of local Ganapati mandals would also be taken as the police force was short-staffed. “We have also started sharing the information about criminals involved in past chain-snatching cases with other police commissionerates,” Satav said. “The criminals’ photos are shared with other commissionerates.”
Chain-snatchings recorded in Kothrud police station jurisdiction this year