Crimes reduce, while thefts and house break-ins go up in central Mumbai
Crime in the central region dipped to 7,869 first information reports (FIRs) in 2017 from 8,748 in 2016.Updated: Feb 01, 2018 10:13 IST
It’s a transformation of sorts for the central region which once was the hotbed of crime in Mumbai. The region which spans from Byculla to Sion was synonymous to Mumbai’s underworld with the likes of Vardharajan Mudaliar, Arun Gawli, Amar Naik and Ashwin Naik, who ran a parallel government.
But with these gangsters either eliminated or behind bars, the central region — which comprises areas such as Tardeo, Worli, Matunga, Shivaji Park, Wadala, Dadar and Mahim — seems to be breathing afresh. Another reason is the region’s metamorphosis from a mill town to pulsating commercial complexes.
Crime in this region dipped to 7,869 first information reports (FIRs) in 2017 from 8,748 in 2016, according to the Mumbai police data. Although serious offences such as murder, attempt to murder and causing hurt reduced considerably, one of the key problems is house break-ins. As many as 406 FIRs for house break-ins were registered. The largest slum pocket in Asia, Dharavi (48), Wadala TT (47), Mahim (41), and Nagpada (26) saw the most house break-ins.
Police said in the four areas thieves mostly targeted ground-plus-one structures and unmanned buildings for ease of access.
According to Sanjay Baswat, senior inspector of Nagpada police station, most thieves who committed crimes in his jurisdiction were from other parts of the city. But in Wadala TT and Dharavi, house break-ins were orchestrated by local criminals. “After we investigate house break-ins, we find that the accused were from the same area,” said Amol Tamke of Wadala T T police station.
As a precautionary measure, the police said that they had increased patrolling at night to a great extent. They have asked residents to turn the lever deadlock at least twice for safety.
“We have started keeping a close watch on robbers who do not turn up during court proceedings. We have prepared teams to track such history sheeters and accused,” said Baswat. Additional commissioner of police (central region) S Jayakumar said, “We have effectively controlled serious crimes in our region especially assaults and murders. Chain snatching cases have been curbed. And because of intensive patrolling, other street crimes have also gone down.”
Cops shift focus on rising cases of petty thefts and car stealing
As petty thefts and vehicle thefts increased in 2017, the central region police have decided to shift their focus on these crimes.
According to the Mumbai police data, 691 vehicle thefts and 1,346 petty thefts were recorded in the central region in 2017 compared to 678 and 1,224 in 2016.
Nagpada saw the most number of vehicle thefts at 60, followed by Mahim at 53 and Byculla at 51. On the other hand, Shivaji Park recorded 117 petty thefts, followed by Nagpada at 113, Sion at 87 and Kurla at 75.
While residents allege that lack of police presence is the reason behind increasing petty thefts, the police blame it on the cramped bylanes and haphazard parking for vehicles thefts.
“There are many shops and markets in Dadar and Shivaji Park along with parks and grounds where people gather. These make people vulnerable to thefts,” said Sunil Deshmukh, ACP (Dadar division).
The police said the bylanes in areas such as Mahim, Bhoiwada and Nagpada and lack of CCTV cameras encourage motorcycle robbers.
S Jaykumar, ACP of central region, said the need of the hour is to focus on thefts too. With the help of their strong community partnerships, the police are relying on locals to report suspicious movements. “We urge residents to remove valuables from their vehicles and ensure that it is locked,” said Jaykumar.