If your pocket was picked while travelling on local trains, you are in a crowd, not merely company.
In the first six months of this year, 707 cases of pickpocketing were registered on the suburban railways, where criminals managed to steal around Rs1.28 crore, government railway police (GRP) data has revealed.
This is more than double the figure during the same period last year, when 309 cases were registered to the tune of around Rs50 lakh.
In the first half of 2015, crimes on Mumbai’s suburban section rose by around 38%, despite the GRP claiming to have taken several steps to curb them.
“If the statistics are considered, we see a rise in silent crimes [thefts] of looting commuters without them coming to know about it. The offenders are focusing on not attracting attention while committing crimes, since the probability of them getting caught is higher with the increased presence of railway police on stations,” said a GRP officer requesting anonymity.
The GRP officers said crimes such as chain snatchings and bag snatchings have been brought under control following a crackdown. These crimes were tackled on priority as they are considered more serious, with the chance of commuters sustaining injuries or even falling off trains.
Last year, the GRP compiled a list of top 10 habitual offenders in the jurisdiction of their 17 police stations in the Mumbai division. Around 160 offenders were listed, and at least 12 of externed from Mumbai.
The GRP personnel are now trying to tie up with non-profits, as most of the habitual criminals are drug addicts. The GRP officials said they will ask the non-profits to help rehabilitate these offenders after they are released from jails.
Madhukar Pandey, the GRP commissioner, has instructed officers to put up stronger evidence before the courts, for better action against criminals. “Officers have been asked to collate complete details, including past crime history, of a habitual criminal so that we get longer custody for better investigation and disposal of a case,” Pandey told HT.