DCPs of all 15 districts of Delhi asked to monitor FIRs
According to a senior police official aware of the discussions, the commissioner and the deputy commissioners of police (DCP) of 15 districts met to discuss the problem of snatching, the cases of misreporting under other sections, and measures to tackle the problem.Updated: Oct 01, 2019 06:13 IST
Delhi police commissioner Amulya Patnaik held a meeting on Monday with the chiefs of the city’s 15 police districts and asked them to personally monitor cases filed in connection with snatching amid concerns of a growing street crime problem in the country’s national capital.
The meeting came on a day HT reported about several instances in which first information reports (FIRs) of snatching were registered as simple theft under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a practice that appeared to be underplaying the problem.
According to a senior police official aware of the discussions, the commissioner and the deputy commissioners of police (DCP) of 15 districts met to discuss the problem of snatching, the cases of misreporting under other sections, and measures to tackle the problem.
“There may some cases of police officers who applied incorrect section of the IPC. This cannot be a trend. I have directed all DCPs to monitor the cases personally. If we receive a complaint against any police official who may have done such a thing, we will take strict action,” said Patnaik, when contacted about the meeting.
“Our vigilance team monitors the cases regularly and we have taken action in the past,” he added.
An HT analysis of crime data between January 1 and September 20 suggested that in at least 100 cases where victims complained to Delhi Police that bike-borne assailants “snatched” their belongings – such as jewellery, money or mobile phones –police registered FIRs under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) instead of Section 356 (assault or criminal force to commit theft) and 392 (robbery).
This is important because while theft is not a “street crime”, which is considered a reflection of the state of law-and-order and policing.
A spokesperson said police have intensified foot and motorcycle patrolling, particularly due to the festive season rush. “Across the city, local police, traffic police and the police control room personnel along with PCR vans are patrolling the streets,” said DCP Mandeep S Randhawa, who is also the police spokesperson said.
Randhawa added that snatching instances have not increased, and that “some incidents have made news because of the CCTV footage”.
“All our special staff teams in each district have been told to find snatchers as the top priority,” he added.
Over the past two weeks, a spree of snatching incidents has taken place with at least one person being killed, a woman being violently assaulted at a bus stand, and a journalist being dragged out of a moving autorickshaw.