In a bid to stop the chain-snatching menace, the Matunga police have written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to barricade footpaths.
The police believe this, coupled with a sustained awareness campaign will ensure women walk on footpaths and not on roads where they are vulnerable to chain snatchers. “It has been observed that chain snatchers target women walking on the road,” said Balasaheb Kakad, senior police inspector, Matunga police station.
“We have written two letters to the ward office asking them to barricade the footpaths. We have also given them details of the roads that need to be barricaded,” said Kakad.
Last year, Mumbai police statistics revealed Mahim, Matunga, Sion and RAK Marg — all a short distance from each other — reported the highest chain-snatching incidents in the Central region.
In 2014, there were 37 chainsnatching cases registered at the police station in Mahim, 34 in Sion, 29 in Matunga and 27 at RAK Marg police stations. “Once the civic body barricades the footpaths, we will start an awareness campaign using public announcement systems asking women to walk on the footpath wherever possible,” said Kakad.
Police analysis of the patterns of chain-snatchings in Matunga revealed that snatchers target women walking in secluded areas.
Most of them are bike-borne and flee the spot and get on to the highways to escape.
“There was a chain-snatching incident on a footpath as well which was not barricaded,” said Kakad. The police had started an anti-chain-snatching unit l ast year, under the crime branch.