Guard your pockets on Mumbai trains, criminals are taking their pick

  • Saurabh M Joshi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2015 21:49 IST

Rs 1.83 crore — that’s how much bag lifters and pick pockets on Mumbai’s suburban trains made in the first three months of this year — more than double the amount they made in the same period last year.

The rise in crimes on trains and at railways stations, as the Government Railway Police’s (GRP) statistics show, has forced authorities to tighten surveillance of the service that is used by around 80 lakh people every day.

The GRP said it has started listing top 10 criminals in every police jurisdiction.

“This list will have the names of habitual offenders. It will help us initiate preventive action. The GRP will also continue to closely monitor them,” said Rupali Ambure, deputy commissioner and GRP spokesperson.

Crimes at railway stations have increased — to 318 in 2015 from 273 crimes registered in the same period last year.

A particularly alarming rise of mobile phone thefts was also recorded this year.

In the first three months, 505 mobile phones, totally worth Rs1.10 crore, were stolen. In the same period last year, 351 phones, worth Rs61.11 lakh were stolen.

GRP officials said their focus now is on cracking down on crime syndicates that are work ing inside the railway stations.

“We are collecting details of criminals operating at railway stations. Petty crimes are becoming a menace and steps will be taken to control them,” said Madhukar Pandey, who recently took charge as GRP commissioner.

Pandey on Tuesday launched the police mitra initiative to rope in railway staff, such as porters, canteen staff, official station vendors and shoe-shine vendors to act as their eyes and ears at the stations.

The GRP officials have identified 14 spots at every railway station that will be watched under the initiative.

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