The Mumbai police’s concerted effort to bring down street crimes, chain-snatching in particular, has borne fruit. From 2,078 instances of chain snatching reported in 2013, the crime has seen a 32% drop to 1,396 in 2014.
Police sources said persistent efforts to tackle street crime and more men on ground have been key reasons for the drop in the crime rate.
“We studied the statistics and identified areas where bike-borne criminals snatched chains. Men were posted at these locations, and a few miscreants were arrested. The idea was then replicated across the city, and special focus was given on checking two-wheelers several times a day,” said a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity.
The police also studied the patterns in the time of the day when most chain snatchings were being reported. It was found that most incidents took place early in the morning, when women went for walks or at secluded areas in the afternoons. “Sudden nakabandis in susceptible locations were also carried out,” the officer said.
The police also realised that bike-borne criminals were using highways to escape, after which major checks were introduced at the city’s exit points.
In 2014, the most cases, 444, were reported in the north region.
Interestingly, a few gangs noticed the police pattern and tried to strike when the police least expected. But the police reworked their strategy to ensure they weren’t caught off-guard. The police also started a new anti-chain snatching squad under the crime branch to try and reduce these cases.