The Delhi Police statistics show 94.26%, of those arrested for incidents of snatching in 2016, were time offenders and 53.97% were either illiterate or school dropouts.
A total of 9,571 cases of snatching were reported in 2016.
According to the police, a high percentage of first timers are involved in snatching because they are the ones looking for quick gains. “These people, usually youngsters, are looking for quick money and an easy escape. They feel that by snatching a purse or a gold chain, they will not attract much attention from the police. Once these youngsters gain courage, they graduate to bigger crimes such as robberies. Most criminals first start with committing petty thefts and snatching,” joint commissioner of police, Dependra Pathak, said.
“All juveniles that we apprehend for cases of thefts and snatching are school dropouts. Our study has revealed that education plays a major role in curbing crime. If these juveniles are in schools, studying, then it will automatically help reduce crimes. We have started a programme called Jan Sampark for the purpose. Under the plan, we have involved principals of government schools to ensure that no one drops out of school,” Pathak said.
Poor success rate
Snatching is also one crime that goes undetected and unsolved. In 2016, 9,571 cases of snatching were reported out of which only 3,364 were solved and 6,207 remain unsolved. “The problem with solving such cases is that it is difficult to catch first timers. Since they are not a part of any gang and have no past criminal record, they are anonymous. Till we have solid clues to identify them, it becomes very difficult to trace them,” Pathak said.