Phone theft on Mumbai trains up tenfold in a year as railway police starts registering FIRs
In all, 20,700 cases of cell phone theft were registered in 2017, up from a mere 2,000 cases in 2016
September 26, 2018 / 11:01 AM IST
Commuters make their way into the ladies' compartment of a local train at a railway station in Mumbai July 5, 2007. Seven bombs went off in the country's financial hub vital commuter rail network on July 11 last year killing at least 183 people. Picture taken July 5, 2007. REUTERS/Sima Dubey (INDIA) - GM1DVRCZLUAA
The number of cases of cell phone theft on Mumbai's suburban trains jumped tenfold in 2017, according to a report by The Times of India.
In all, 20,700 cases of cell phone theft were registered in 2017, up from a mere 2,000 cases in 2016. Even a year before that, the total number of registered cell phone theft cases numbered close to 2,000.
However, the sudden increase in such cases is not because of an increase in thefts, but because of the railway police have started taking cell phone theft complaints seriously, the newspaper reported.
This year, the police department's top brass reportedly decided to crack down on the practice of watering down cases by registering milder and non-cognizable offences instead of First Information Reports (FIRs).
The railway police has been filing FIRs for cell phone theft since the beginning of this year.
"Hiding such offences is not the remedy. We have adopted a zero-tolerance policy and ordered all railway police units to register cases which they would earlier ignore," said Additional Director General of Police (Railways) Jaijeet Singh was quoted as saying.
"This is the reason why the number of registered cases have increased dramatically," Singh said.
The railway police has also asked for increased manpower to help investigate these cases. A railway police official was quoted as saying that in most cases, cell phone thieves on local trains are found travelling without ticket.
The official reportedly suggested that there should be access control at railway stations, similar to metro stations, to help curb crime on local trains.