Chain-snatching emerges as a major crime in Thane



Thane: Rising cases of chain snatching and burglaries are posing a major challenge to Thane Police.

"Crime detection was satisfactory last year, but police are still concerned about offences like chain snatching and thefts," Police Commissioner Kris Pal Raghuvanshi said after the crime annual review meeting here last evening.

During the meeting, a report released on statistics compiled from across the city showed there were 547 cases of chain snatching registered in 2012, of which only 268 were detected. The number was marginally higher than in 2011, when 543 cases were registered, and 232 were detected.

Elaborating on the growing menace, he said, "Earlier, there used to be inter-city gangs, where the accused would stay in one city and operate in another. Now, we are seeing the emergence of inter-state gangs, where the accused travels to another state, commits the crime and then returns. This poses a challenge of detection."

Raghuvanshi said the second challenge was burglaries. There were 254 day-time and 849 night-time burglaries registered last year.

Crimes against women went up from 734 in 2011 to 849 in 2012 where majority of them were cases of harassment.

On crimes like molestation and eve-teasing, he said, "Many of these cases don't get registered because they are not reported. Cases need to be registered with us so that we can act on them. We have also set up a women's cell in every police station and deployed personnel, uniformed as well as in plain clothes, at crowded places such as bus stops and market places," Raghuvanshi added.

Other crimes witnessed only a minor change in statistics as compared to 2011. While there were 127 murders registered in 2011, the city witnessed 110 such cases in 2012. Rape cases rose from 79 in 2011 to 106 in 2012, he said.

As regards booking chain-snatchers under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), the police official said they were still analysing its modalities as there were certain hurdles in the process.

For Thane Police Commissionerate, which covers a population of nearly 70 lakh, policing is a marathon task, he said and asked people not to keep crime "under the carpet."

Victims should immediately bring crime to the notice of either their parents, teachers or police, he urged.

PTI