Every four hours, a snatching incident is reported in Delhi — a grim reminder of rising street crime cases and lawlessness in the Capital.
In the first quarter of 2013 (till March 14), snatching cases reported a 50% rise against the same period last year. The Delhi Police registered 410 cases of snatching till March 14 this year, against 268 cases during the same period last year.
This contradicts the claim made by Delhi Police in its annual press conference in January this year. It was proudly announced to the press that despite the rise in population in the Capital, street crimes such as snatching, mugging and robbery had come down. But only two months later, the figures tell a different story.
Not only this, heinous crimes that include dacoity, murder, robbery and rape have increased by 56%. Till March 3, 584 heinous crimes were reported against 374 cases in the same period last year.
The police attribute the jump in crime statistics to improved registration of cases. “After the Delhi gang rape, there has been a major shift in police’s attitude. Now, no police station is turning away a complainant which was a common practice earlier,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
“The legislative provision for strict punishment to police personnel refusing to register an FIR has certainly acted as a deterrent. Who would want to risk his career?” the officer said.
An analysis of snatching cases reveal that 86% of the criminals arrested for the offence were first-time offenders and 57% of them were either illiterate or school dropouts. Following the drastic increase, the Delhi Police have conducted a survey and examined the timings of calls made to police control room (PCR) about snatching incidents.
The survey began from March 1 and the results forced the police to make several changes in their strategy to curb snatching incidents. Asked about the aim of the study, the officer said that it will help them increase patrolling when the maximum snatching incidents take place.“Expansion of new colonies and mushrooming of unplanned colonies is the reason why street crime is increasing,” a senior Delhi Police officer said.