Proactive policing ensured dip in number of murders
The city witnessed fewer murders this year as compared to 2010. Till December 11, 194 murders were reported while 212 murders took place from Jan 1 to Dec 11, 2010. Though the dip is not substantial, police claim it is a result of increased policing after a series of high-profile murders, including the one double murder at Amboli.
Manohar Dalvi, deputy commissioner of police and the spokesperson for the force said, "The reduction in murder is due to effective patrolling and policing." "Several senior citizen were murdered this year, making us more vigilant. We stepped up patrolling, especially at night," said an officer from the DN Nagar police station. "In several cases, murders were planned; most had robbery as motive. We renewed the drive to get house-help registered and sent police constables to each society to compel residents to register their domestic help," the officer added.
In addition to these, the police launched several other initiatives. Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police, zone 9, started a drive to rope in delivery boys and other service personnel as informants to keep a close eye on housing societies in areas where murders were being reported.
However, there were several cases where murders were a result of petty disputes, or, as in the Amboli case, acts of rage. To improve detection in such cases, the police set up helplines to report such incidents. "We cannot prevent spur-of-the-moment fights as they cannot be foreseen. However, we have ensured that our men keep doing rounds in their areas to keep an eye on such incidents," said a senior crime branch officer.
Improved patrolling reduced instances of chain snatching
Given the rash of chain snatching incidents in the last few months, it should come as a relief that the number of cases registered till December 11 are still lower than those recorded for the same period in 2010.
While 1,550 cases were reported for the above period last year, 1,046 chain snatchings took place this year. After a sudden spurt in such incidents — more than 10 chain-snatchings took place within 24 hours on a few occasions — Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik instructed his force treat such cases seriously. "We were taken to task after there was dramatic spike in chain-snatchings in certain months. We were given strict instructions to be on roads to ensure that such occurrences were reduced," said a police officer from the western suburbs.
Police vans were sent to these spots to deter chain snatchers. In addition, people were also sensitised about the modus operandi usually adopted by chain snatchers to ensure they were not caught off guard.
As a motivator for the force, the commissioner himself handed out cash prizes and certificates to police personnel who arrested chain snatchers. There were certain incidents in which the victims - in some cases, senior citizens - who managed to not only fend off the attack, but also catch the suspects. The commissioner rewarded such citizens as well.
Manohar Dalvi, deputy commissioner of police and the spokesperson for the force said, "We have taken certain measures to improve patrolling, because of which, there is a decrease in the instances of chain snatching."