11,500 offenders in Mumbai pledge to not commit crimes
Mumbai Police took stern preventive action against more than 11,500 criminals in the city last year, with a hope that the extensive action on anti-social elements would prevent future crimes and make the city safer.
The police are making the criminals sign legal bonds under provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), pledging that they would not indulge in any criminal activity. On violating the bond terms, the accused would attract heavy fines or imprisonment.
Chaitanya Siriprolu, deputy commissioner of police (operations) and Mumbai Police spokesperson, said the city police made 8,549 habitual and 3,045 hardened criminals sign the bonds under sections 107 and 110 of CrPC till December 18, 2020.
“The police have forfeited the deposit/surety of 46 criminals for breach of bond under 110 CrPC and five of them were sent to jail. The deposit/surety of 43 criminals were forfeited under 107 CrPC and seven of them were sent to jail for breach of the bond. The amount of forfeited bond is as high as Rs15 lakh in some cases,” said Siriprolu.
The bond amount is fixed roughly equal to the approximate annual income of the offender or his family.
“We want to send a strong message to these anti-social elements that the police department would come heavily on them if they do not refrain from indulging in criminal activities. They will now think twice before committing any crime,” the senior officer added.
To collate the information of criminals, all the 95 police stations across Mumbai are also preparing a list of the top 25 criminals in their records, such as regular trouble makers, hard core criminals or local goons. After through assessment of their criminal activities, the police officers decide the names of those criminals against whom preventive action is to be taken.
The initiative was started by commissioner of police Param Bir Singh and is being implemented by Vishwas Nangre Patil, joint commissioner of police (law and order) last year. The drive was intensified from mid-November 2020.
“These preventive actions are not the ordinary ones that the police used to take in the past. To make the action more effective, we have increased the security amount as high as Rs25 lakh,” said Nangre Patil.
Earlier, the offender could get away by executing bonds for petty amounts ranging between Rs10,000 and Rs15,000 and would continue with the activities unabated. The bond amount is now increased to bring in a deferent effect in the preventive actions, he added.
“The offender has to either deposit the said amount or provide a surety in the same amount through a guarantor who must have assets worth the bond amount. If the offender violates the bond terms and indulge in any criminal act then the bond amount is forfeited or the surety. This has become an effective deterrent,” said an ACP from the central region.
The city police are also preparing to take on dreaded criminals by invoking provisions of the Maharashtra Prevention Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act against them. The police chief has the power to send a criminal behind bars for two years under MPDA. Officers said the personnel are being trained on how to prepare watertight cases with strong documentation to ensure that MPDA charges are not legally challenged.
“The preventive actions tighten the police’s grip over criminals and they act as a deterrent to keep criminals under control and surely help prevent future crimes,” said Nangre Patil.
“Strong preventive actions will be the key factor for effective policing in the city in coming times. Special preventive action drives such as Operation All Over (city-wide raids) would also be regularly done,” said Siriprolu.
The 11pm task
Every night, all the 95 police stations get an order at 11pm from joint commissioner of police (law & order) directing them to take surprise action on criminals in their areas from 12am to 3am. Nangre Patil has asked all the police stations to carry out surprise raids to nab criminals committing a particular type of crime. “If for one night, the officers are asked to nab burglars, they are given the task of catching chain snatchers the next day. The officers are not privy to the task prior to the 11pm order. Every police station has to then send a daily report of the action taken the previous night to the police headquarters the next morning,” said an officer.