The year 2009 wasn’t a safe one. With the number of snatching and robberies on the rise, many people fell victim on city roads.
A total of 1,492 snatchings and robberies were committed, which is beside the cars that were stolen thefts and homes burgles.
But official figures paint a different picture.
Addresing an annual press conference, Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal said the number of snatchings in the city had actually dipped.
In 2008, around 1,320 cases of snatching had been reported. In 2009, the figure was 1,293.
But the dip can largely be attributed to the fact that most snatching cases go unreported.
“We want people to report cases. We are doing our level best to curb cases of snatching,” Dadwal said.
Traders and shopkeepers were the main targets as far as snatchings are concerned and most of them were committed outside banks.
The situation came to such a pass that traders from different parts of the city took out dharna to demand action.
According to Dadwal, the easy availability of high-end sports motorcycles has also made it simpler for snatchers to commit crimes.
Dadwal added that the police started a drive to register motorcycles in the city, which has helped in curbing the crime.
According to Delhi Police, around 91 per cent of the crimes were committed by first time criminals. “There is no organised crime in Delhi. Faceless characters are committing crimes,” Dadwal said.
In most robbery, snatching and kidnapping related cases, the people who arrested were found to be “novice” or first-timers. Dadwal said those arrested in connection with dacoity and robbery cases were also found to be first-timers.
“They did not have any previous criminal record,” he said.
All the accused arrested in connection with cases of kidnapping for ransom were also first-timers.
According to police, the increase in the number of vehicles in the city has caused an acute parking problem.
This has also led to a number of crimes, including murders. In December 2008, a man was killed after getting into an altercation with his neighbours over parking.
The problem has also led to an increase in the number of motor vehicle thefts.
threat to Cars and the Delhi Police also considers theft of motor vehicles as the biggest problem it faces.
On an average, a staggering 1,000 vehicles were stolen or snatched daily.
Dadwal said many auto-lifting gangs had been busted in 2009 and also blamed people for not installing proper security gadgets to prevent thefts.
“Some major auto lifters such as Manoj Bakkarwala were arrested. But people need to install security gadgets in their cars. If they can spend around Rs 10 lakh to buy a car, they can easily spend another Rs 10, 000 to install security gadgets.”
It was not just the security of their cars most Delhiites were concerned about, home was another front that seemed vulnerable in the wake of daring robberies.
Around 1,825 cases of house thefts were reported from across the city.
The police also busted a few gangs that were responsible for such crimes.
The South Delhi Police and the Crime Branch nabbed two separate gangs of burglars that would burn down homes after committing thefts.