The punishment for crimes committed on suburban trains and platforms, most of them against women, is proving ineffective, as statistics show the number of repeat offenders in Mumbai railway police’s jurisdiction is alarmingly high.
Recidivism on Mumbai railway network was 16.7% in 2012, compared to 1.32% in the state. The railway police attributed such large number of habitual offenders to low risk and high returns, with a majority of them targeting women commuters, committing offences such as chain snatching and bag lifting.
Among those arrested in the Mumbai railway police jurisdiction last year, 321 were repeat offenders, against 261 in 2011.
Other crimes against women on locals such as molestation and outraging modesty are also high, accounting for 30 of the 48 cases registered this year until July. The railway police blame severe staff crunch, with more than 200 posts lying vacant.
Expressing concern over the rising incidents of railway crime, state home minister RR Patil had said: “It is our priority to secure women commuters and we are in constant touch with the Union rail ministry.”