Traditionally, the city witnesses a steep rise in burglary and housebreaking cases during the summer vacation. This year is no exception. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy says besides police efforts, some basic precautions by citizens and housing societies would help bring down robbery rates. Excerpts from an interview:
Why do burglaries and house break-in cases witness a sudden rise in the summer months?
That’s because, traditionally, people leave their homes to visit their native places during the vacations. Housebreakers and gangs take advantage of the situation and strike, especially at night.
Have you identified the places or areas repeatedly hit by this menace?
Very often these offences are witnessed in far-off suburbs and in areas at the outskirts of the city. The reasons are many. Like in many of these areas, one finds a number of standalone buildings with no watchman.
Also, their geographical location gives the thieves easy escape routes.
What are the police doing to curb the trend?
We step up vigilance during vacations. At the beat level, we hold periodic meetings with housing societies to spread awareness about basic precautions to be taken to avoid such happenings.
The crime branch on their part put the criminal intelligence unit on the job of tracking suspected persons or groups coming from rural areas to Mumbai during the vacation.
The moment they smell something wrong, an immediate clampdown is ordered. Moreover, we tell housing societies to approach the police the moment they find anyone moving about suspiciously near their premises.
Also, the society should immediately inform the police when a crime takes place in order to commence the investigation, which in turn ensures cases are detected quickly.