Amid enforcing COVID-19 curbs, Delhi Police battles street crime

New Delhi: While the Delhi Police has faced the brunt of enforcing strict and oftentimes fast-changing guidelines to check the spread of COVID-19 in the Capital, the top leadership in the force has now asked its officers to make sure that they do not slack off on street crime in Delhi, which has continued despite almost three months of a total shutdown. The Delhi Police has also directed officers to keep watch over criminals coming out of jail.

The Delhi Police Commissioner has directed all Deputy Commissioners of Police in the city to keep detailed records of snatchers, robbers, their associates, rival gangs and make sure that all arrested accused are interrogated in as much detail as possible. "Whenever a snatcher, a robber is arrested he should be interrogated thoroughly to get information about his associates, rival gang and receivers of properties. Sufficient evidence against them be collected and appropriate legal action should be taken against them," the police chief is learnt to have told the DCPs, during a recent law and order review meeting, where street crime was in focus.

The CP further directed that appropriate watch should be kept on the activities of known robbers and snatchers as well as bad elements who are coming out on bail or being released after trial and that they should be interrogated thoroughly. The top cop directed senior officers to open history sheets of active criminals and put them on proper surveillance. The Commissioner also directed district DCPs to identify criminals involved in organized crime and initiate action against them under MCOCA if required.

Delhi Police data shows that more than 10,000 history sheets are on record, of which 980 were opened in 2020, including 105 history sheets opened between March 16 to May 27 - when Delhi was under strict lockdown owing to the pandemic.

As many as 360 proposals were initiated for opening new history sheets and eight proposals were initiated for action under MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act). According to Delhi Police, as many as 97,950 cases under various sections of the IPC were registered till May 15. Of these, a majority of 95,910 cases were for non-heinous crime, which includes 1,799 snatching cases, 691 burglary cases, 11,198 cases of MV theft.

In the first five months of 2020, Delhi Police have recovered over 800 firearms in the Capital and the Delhi Police Commissioner has directed all Deputy Commissioners of Police to design concrete strategies to ensure a deterrent

effect on criminals looking to move firearms in their respective areas.

Delhi Police also identified nearly 550 people who are suspected to be receivers of stolen properties from criminals, of which they have taken action against 250 just this year.

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