There was a rise in property offences in Mumbai in 2010 compared to 2009, according to Mumbai police statistics. Apart from a marginal drop in dacoities, there was an increase in other property offences like housebreaking and robbery. Statistics show a total of 361 cases of robbery between January and November 2010. In comparison, there were just 287 robbery cases registered in 2009 in the same period.
“There has been a trend noticed in 2010, wherein armed accused accost people asking them to hand over their mobile phones and cash. As the amount involved is normally not that big, people hand over their belongings. As a result there has been a hike in robbery cases in 2010 even though the amount stolen may be small,” said a police officer speaking on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Senior police inspector of Sion police station, Tulsiram Nagre, confirmed this trend but refused to elaborate, “ Such cases have been witnessed increasingly. But, only our senior officers can comment on it.”
Another officer said, “ Even cases of housebreaking have gone up. This has been especially true in buildings where there is not a lot of communication among neighbours. In chawls, when one goes out, a neighbour is usually told to keep an eye on the house, which does not happen in buildings.”
He added, “On many occasions, domestic help, watchmen and others who have access to people’s houses tip off criminals when family members are away from home or on vacation. This has also led to an increase in housebreaking cases.”
Housebreaking cases by day have gone up from 334 in 2009 (till November) to 430 in 2010 (till November). There has only been a marginal drop in dacoity cases in 2010 when 32 cases were registered compared to 38 in 2009.