Train travel continues to remain unsafe for commuters, crime statistics from the Mumbai Railway Police Commissionerate have revealed.
In 2011, although the number of petty crimes registered across the 98 railway stations on the Western and Central lines has declined, major crimes have seen a substantial increase.
Seven kidnapping cases were registered with the railway police in 2011, as against four in 2010. Likewise, cheating cases increased to 47 in 2011, from 42 in 2010.
The Railway police claim that the increase in the number of kidnappings and cheating cases is a direct consequence of lack of awareness among commuters.
“Despite several warnings to commuters through announcements on railway stations as well as in local trains asking passengers to be wary of strangers, they tend to trust their co-passengers and fall victim to crimes of this nature. We are working on creating more awareness among the commuters and are stepping up vigilance at all places,” said GS Bhandare, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central Railway.
The number of murder cases has also doubled to 12 this year, from 6 in 2010, while the
number of cases of sedatives being administered to commuters by their co-passengers has shot up to 31 this year, from 16 in 2010.
Instances of petty crimes, meanwhile, have seen a decline. The number of petty crimes registered with the railway police has reduced to 1,958 this year, from 2,037 in 2010. The railway police claim that this can be attributed to an increase in patrolling across railway stations and in local trains.
“We are making constant efforts to increase the strength of the railway police force. This year, we have recruited 350 railway police personnel. With the increased staff, patrolling has increased. Constables have become more alert and this has led to fewer petty crimes this year,” said Bhandare.
“CCTV camera installations have been a big help too in helping us detect crimes. Besides, they act as a strong deterrent,” he added.
Of the 2,250 crimes reported with the Mumbai railway police this year, 1,478 have been solved. This is marginally better than the corresponding figures for 2010, when 1,497 crimes were solved out of 2,313 registered cases.