In Saki Naka’s congested slums, people struggling for space and food are often rounded up for petty crimes like theft or assault after fights.
“Economic offences are less here, but some 70% of the area are slum pockets. Most crimes are filed after fights and for petty thefts. Thefts or burglaries in housing societies are rare, as they have CCTV surveillance,” said Avinash Dharmadhikari, senior police inspector at Sakinaka police station.
Another officer said crimes were high because slum-dwellers from different parts of the city, like Malwani, Kandivli and Goregaon, have been rehabilitated here. “They have to live together but are not able to get along.”
The Saki Naka police station, which covers 11 sqkm and oversees four lakh people, registered 696 FIRs last year.
“There are about three sensitive areas — Sangharsh Nagar, Ghass Compound and Khadi no.3 — where all of a sudden, crimes takes place. The police keep taking preventive action and patrolling these areas,” said police inspector, law and order, Chandrashekhar Nalavade.
Sanjay Tiwari, an activist and resident of Saki Naka said drugs and substance abuse was another major problem. “Consumption of drugs is a major menace, owing to which crime increases. The source of the drugs is rarely traced. The police catch two addicts every day, fine them. But the ones making the drugs are rarely caught.”
Also read: Juhu, a hub for money-related offences