At least 25 out of the 350 habitual offenders picked up by the police during a special drive recently will work as informants. This way, they can not only get their criminal records expunged but also win cash prizes.
The chosen offenders will be trained to work as informants in coordination with the constables. Their brief will be to tip the police off about illegal activities in their areas besides forewarning the sleuths if any other offender is planning to commit a crime, P Harishekaran, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) said. “If they do their duty in a sincere and honest way, they will stand a chance to get their criminal records expunged and win cash prizes,” he added. “This will help in checking crimes at least to some extent.”
The State government recently gave the Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) the power of an executive magistrate. Accordingly, the officer can invoke section 110 (security for good behaviour from habitual offenders) of the Code of Criminal Procedure against the offenders. They will have to sign a bond promising good behaviour, another top police officer said.
Meanwhile, Harishekaran said, the Bengaluru police are studying the strategies used by their counterparts in other states to check chain-snatchings, something which has kept them worried for long.
Last year, 3500 chain-snatchings were reported in Delhi, 1,500 in Chennai, 1,750 in Mumbai and 1,500 in Hyderabad. In Bengaluru, almost 500 chain-snatchings were reported; 200 of them have already been cracked.
“We suspect the involvement of Bawaria tribespeople from Uttar Pradesh and members of the Irani gang from Telangana. They appear to be behind most of the chain-snatchings in the country. They commit the crimes in cities and flee to their native places, making it difficult for us to nab them. We have contacted the police of the respective states and sought their assistance to gather information about members of these groups. Our team will also visit various states in this regard,” he explained. According to the officer, the gangs also target Salem, Coimbatore, Vellore and other tier-two cities. “But their main focus is on metropolitan cities. We have learnt that these people sell the jewellery at local pawn shops while on the run,” he added.
Pawn shops to be checked
The police are also checking pawn shops in the City to find out if they are buying gold and other valuables from the chain-snatchers. The shops will be asked to maintain a register and make entry of the valuables they buy and sell. Besides, they should obtain details of the person pawning the jewellery with them, another police officer said.
If the shops are found to be buying valuables from the offenders, they will be dealt with strictly as per law. Instructions have already been given to the jurisdictional police to make a list of pawn shops and check if they are registered or not, the officer added.