Next time you go to a wedding, do not be surprised if after the religious verses, you hear the priest doling out advice on steps to take in order to avoid chain-snatching incidents.
With the rising number of chain snatching cases in the marriage season, apart from the regular steps, the police have started approaching marriage halls to disburse preventive advice.
“We have a list of marriages taking place in the marriage halls in our jurisdiction. We go there beforehand and request the priests and family members of the bride and bridegroom to make announcements regarding safety measures before the guests leave,” said assistant inspector Jayendra Sawant, Dadar police station.
He added, “We are trying our best to ensure such cases
are avoided. And if people
are reminded about the basic safety tips before leaving the marriage hall, it will help us a lot. We have received a favourable response to this initiative as people understand that we are doing this for their own benefit.”
In addition to this, the Mumbai police have also put up hoardings across the city asking people to be cautious. The hoardings also contain a graphic of how the chain snatchers approach the victims and what steps can be taken to avoid it. The hoardings are put up at several major junctions.
The policemen patrolling the roads also go up to women wearing jewellery to instruct them on various dos and don’ts.
This action has, however, backfired on the police a few times. An officer talking on condition of anonymity said, “The other day I saw a woman wearing a gold necklace walking on the road. I told her to be careful as there was an isolated spot ahead and she would do herself some good if she covered the necklace. The woman did not take to it kindly and told me to mind my own business. She added that if someone snatches her chain it would be her loss and I should not be bothered about it.”
The officer added that what makes the situation worse for them is the fact that several criminals loot common citizens posing as policemen. “We ourselves have created awareness about fake policemen on the prowl. Hence, when we approach people asking them to be careful about theft they are suspicious of us.”