The increase in chain snatching incidents reported during the ongoing marriage season has been giving sleepless nights to the police.
The police have found that chain snatchers are more active during the marriage season, as a higher number of women wearing expensive ornaments hit the roads. Not only do they have more victims these days, but also the catch normally is worth much more with women sporting fancier ornaments.
Further, the gold price is on a high, fetching over Rs29,000 per 10 gram.
Police stations in the city, especially those in central suburbs that have a large number of these cases, have started setting up patrols near wedding halls in their areas.
Jayendra Sawant, assistant inspector at Dadar police station, said, “We have taken stock of all wedding halls falling under our jurisdiction. We then demarcate isolated spots near these venues where chain snatchers are likely to target victims.” He added, “Two policemen are stationed at each of these spots to ensure that women are not targeted while they are walking to or back from the marriage halls.”
Statistics provided by the Mumbai police also point to a rise in cases of chain snatchings over the past few months. While 126 chain snatching cases were reported in February, March saw 139 cases, while in April, within 22 days, 148 cases have already been reported.
An officer from the central suburbs speaking on condition of anonymity said, “From 6am onwards, when people take to the streets, we have to be on the roads. We are stationed at these points, till after 10pm when there are fewer number of people. In the current wedding season, we have to be all the more alert as chain snatching activity rises.”
Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik had recently instructed his staff to tackle cases of chain snatching on priority after its rising numbers across the city.