As vehicles thefts continue unabated in Delhi, police call out automakers for compromising security
The statistics released by the Delhi police on Wednesday showed a 13% increase in vehicle theft cases compared to 2017.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 12:48 IST
As one vehicle was reported stolen in Delhi every 12 minutes in 2018, Delhi police commissioner Amulya Patnaik called out the automobile manufacturers for “compromising” on safety gear in their “race for offering vehicles at competitive rates”.
The statistics released by the police on Wednesday showed a 13% increase in vehicle theft cases compared to 2017. Data showed that on an average 121 vehicles were stolen every day last year. The police claimed to work out nearly one-fifth of the cases, but didn’t share the number of stolen vehicles which were recovered.
Patnaik said his force put in more effort in tracking stolen vehicles than its counterparts in cities such as New York and Washington. “In most other cities, the police ask the victims to directly go for insurance claims. We have done well by solving 19% of the thefts,” said Patnaik.
The data shows that three of every four vehicles stolen from Delhi were motorcycles or scooters, which Patnaik said, are equipped with “no extra safety devices”. “Most motorcycles are casually parked in poorly lit areas, making them easy targets,” said Patnaik.
“Automobile manufacturers do not equip new vehicles with security features as they want to stay competitive in terms of price. That makes the vehicles an easy pick for thieves,” said Patnaik. He also called out the “indifferent attitude” of vehicle owners towards security features.
Vishnu Mathur, director general at Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), said there were no regulations on this aspect but auto makers were only providing what the customers demanded as “ultimately the customers are the kings”.
“Cars over a certain price range are generally fitted with the safety features. The base models of many cars may not be equipped with them, but that is because customers want cheaper vehicles. But safety features can be added by the customer easily at a nominal price,” said Mathur.
The police claimed to have arrested 6,751 vehicle thieves last year, nearly a 20% increase over the previous year.
RP Upadhyay, special commissioner of police (law and order), admitted that not enough was done to bust gangs. “Even if we bust a gang, it is a tedious process to recover the vehicles, track the entire chain of the racket and get them convicted,” said Upadhyay.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 12:48 IST