Residents of gated colonies in south Delhi have got some relief from street crimes such as snatching, motor vehicle thefts and burglaries. With an aim to curb crime, the Delhi police had put in place a plan wherein barricades were installed at entry and exit gates of colonies during the night and in the wee hours. This move, introduced one and a half month ago, has helped bring down crime.
The south Delhi localities where barricading has been done include Defence Colony, Hauz Khas, Vasant Kunj, Mehrauli, RK Puram, Sarojini Nagar, Malviya Nagar and Saket among others.
The statistics provided by the Delhi police revealed that in the past 45 days, the rate of crimes such as chain and phone snatching has come down by 15-20%. The plan to put barricades was introduced after Delhi police chief Alok Kumar Verma directed district heads to lay stress on curbing street crime.
“After the directions came, we conducted crime mapping of all the 16 police stations of south district. The mapping was done by a special unit,” a senior police officer said.
The barricades and pickets are set up from 12am to 6am in the most vulnerable and crime-prone areas. Simultaneously, besides PCR vans, beat officers also stay put at the main entrances of all the gated colonies. Police personnel have been directed to properly check each vehicle entering the locality and maintain a record of it.
“Increasing police presence acts as a deterrent against street crime. Chain snatching mostly occurs in the early hours when people are going out for morning walks or to religious places. We don’t claim snatching has stopped completely, but such incidents are not being reported as often as they used to earlier. The idea is to make an atmosphere of prevention for incidents that instil fear in victims, who in most cases happen to be women,” said Nupur Prasad, additional deputy commissioner of police (south).
Residents are happy as well. Defence Colony’s two main entrances are now manned by police personnel. The area, residents claimed, had seen a spate of auto thefts and snatchings between March and April. The number of such incidents have now come down, they say.
Officials claim to check all vehicles. “Two of the colony entries on Varun Marg — from Kotla Mubarkapur and BRT sides — remain under police vigil. Vehicles are checked at the entry. During the first 15 days of March, three cars were stolen. But the incidents have come down after that,” the officer said.
According to cops, Malviya Nagar, Saket, RK Puram, Safdarjung Enclave, Mehrauli and Sarojini Nagar had seen a rise in snatching incidents this year.
“We have been analysing crime patterns in these areas for some time now. The patterns keep changing from area to area. We have to keep an element of surprise in our measures of prevention each time,” said Prasad.