Despite a significant rise in the number of daylight robberies in the first quarter of 2010, compared to figures for the same period last year, the city police don't think there's anything to worry about.
A total of 114 cases of robbery and dacoity have been registered in the last three months - that's 34 more than last year's first quarter total. Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Rajnish Seth, however, dismissed that increase in offences, saying there is "nothing alarming."
Traders in the city said the murder of moneylender Alpesh Jain (35) on March 25, has been a wake-up call. Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Trade Welfare Association said Jain's murder has sent shockwaves among the traders and shown how vulnerable they are to such crimes.
“This year, we have felt the city is unsafe for us; jewelers and traders are soft target for dacoits,” said Shah.
Seth said these offences are cyclical and will be controlled soon. Asked about the fact that several of the offences have involved the victims not only being attacked but also killed, Seth said: “It might be alarming for you (the media) but this is nothing unusual.”
Many police officers don’t share that view, and say the situation is cause for concern. Among the reasons they cite for their increased workload — and thus reduced ability to police the streets —is ramped up security duty for the Assembly sessions, police recruitments and VIP visits, as well as security detail for the ongoing IPL cricket matches.
“It’s all happening at the same time, and our men are also on constant alert due to the terror threats, so we’re a bit stretched but we’ll bring it all under control soon,” said Nisar Tamboli, deputy commissioner (crime).
“People need to be more attentive. Shopkeepers should install closed-circuit cameras. Citizens must take the basic minimum precautions,” Tamboli added.