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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Criminals picking ideas from TV to evade cops

Mohamed Thaver, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, May 12, 2013
First Published: 01:45 IST(12/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:57 IST(12/5/2013)

Not everyone watches television crime shows, based on real life incidents, just for entertainment. City police officials have come across cases where criminals have been watching these high TRP shows to learn about new investigation techniques, so as to avoid getting caught.

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The shows borrow from actual crime cases of the past and televise a detailed enacted account of the investigation, including techniques and methods used by the police to catch culprits. Cops believe that this neutralises the edge they have over criminals, who become more cautious and aware of ways to evade authorities.

“More than human intelligence [informer network], we rely heavily on technical surveillance at present. It has also helped us arrest several criminals in the recent past,” said a crime branch officer, who did not wish to be named. “In the last year or so, we have noticed criminals being extra cautious about not doing things that could land them in police net.”

In some cases, after getting caught, criminals have even confessed to have evaded arrest by taking tips from television crime shows, added the officer.

The Khar police came across one such case, where a woman arrested in a cheating case had messages on her mobile phone from a co-accused, asking her to watch a specific crime show to avoid being caught.

“The best we can do is to find newer methods of tracking down an accused, as we can’t stop anyone from airing a particular programme,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime.


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