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Phone snatching a major concern, says Delhi Police Commissioner

Phone snatching a major concern, says Delhi Police Commissioner

New Delhi: Even as the Delhi Police's annual data released on Thursday showed a significant spike in snatching cases in the Capital in 2021, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said that a new collaboration with the Telecom Department was underway which would hopefully bring down the cases.

"This is one of the major concerns of the Delhi Police to control street crime," the Commissioner said, adding that to tackle the cases, the Delhi Police had already spoken to the Telecom Department to block the IMEI (a phone's unique identifier) number of any snatched mobile immediately and share the information with the police accordingly.

"We hope that this step will bring down the cases of mobile snatching," Commissioner Asthana said at the Delhi Police's annual press conference.

The annual data shows that the police registered a total of 9,383 cases of snatching this year while it was 7,965 in the erstwhile year and 6,266 in 2019. However, there is a decline in the graph of PCR calls in snatching comparatively. In 2021, the city police have received 22,299 calls, whereas in 2020 it was 24,726 and 56,037 in 2019.

However, not only mobile snatching, the cases of chain and bag snatching have also risen in the national Capital.

Recently, a 40-year-old woman reportedly succumbed to injuries after an incident of snatching took place in the Surajmal Vihar area of East Delhi while she was going in an e-rickshaw to attend a wedding. The incident took place on February 7 when two bike-borne robbers tried to snatch the victim's bag. She fell off the e-rickshaw while resisting, suffered a brain haemorrhage and slipped into a coma. The victim battled for life for 12 long days and then passed away. Both the accused persons, in this case, were nabbed after the incident and now police have added the section of murder in the FIR.

Interestingly, the Delhi Police Commissioner also mentioned last year while interacting with media persons at the Women's Press Corps that the police would like to introduce a new law to tackle the increasing cases of snatching in the city.

At present, the accused caught snatching are booked under IPC Sections 379 (theft) and 356 (use of criminal force) or Section 390 (robbery).

The police chief further stressed women's safety as the major concern. It is also planning to replicate amendments to give stringent punishment to offenders. The anti-snatching law has already been implemented by the Haryana government, and clauses in the IPC Section 379 have been added, which will increase jail term up to 14 years for the offender.

Meanwhile, cops have focused on community policing to fill a gap between the police and the public, which will help the former to identify the epicentres of such crime.

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