At least 20 cases of chain-snatching were reported in the city every day between January 1 and March 31, revealed statistics uploaded by the Mumbai police on their website.
According to the detailed report on various crimes across the city that is uploaded by the Mumbai police every month on their website, a total of 1,763 chain-snatching cases were registered in the 90 police stations across the city — which calculates to a daily count of 19.58 cases a day.
But deputy commissioner of police (Operations) and police spokesperson Rajkumar Vhatkar is confident that the figures are wrong. “There seems to be some mistake in the figures uploaded on the website. I am absolutely certain that the figure of 1,763 chain snatchings in the past three months is erroneous,” he told the Hindustan Times on Monday.
Worried about the rising cases, Mumbai commissioner of police Arup Patnaik, last week, had instructed all police stations to step up action against chain-snatchers.
“In a meeting called last week, Patnaik expressed his displeasure about the rising cases of chain snatching. Patnaik said if a chain-snatching case if registered, the senior police inspector and deputy commissioner of police of that area will have to present themselves before him and give him an explanation about the same,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Since last week, police officers — especially in the eastern, western and central suburbs where such cases are reported more — have hit the streets with a vengeance to catch chain snatchers.
Several police stations, such as Chembur police station, have also set up specialised anti-chain-snatching squads.
“We are tackling the menace of chain-snatchings on a war footing,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime). “We have a concept called the crime clock that basically helps us mark the time and places where such incidents often take place. We then post our men there during those hours to keep a check on the area.”