In the face of increasing chain-snatching cases across the city, the police have adopted GPS mapping to mark out the worst-affected areas and intensify patrolling that has helped curb the trend.
The initiative launched about six months ago in the Zone III region has yielded quick results with just 10 cases registered between January and April this year as compared with 39 cases in the corresponding period a year ago.
"Chain-snatching cases have been a problem for the police so we decided to take the help of technology to tackle this issue," said Vinayak Deshmukh, deputy commissioner of police (Zone III).
Zone III includes Tardeo, Nagpada, Agripada, Byculla, Worli and NM Joshi Marg areas.
Deshmukh explained that all police personnel dealing with chain-snatching cases were instructed to map the incidents, using the global positioning system (GPS), to zero in on the areas most prone to such incidents.
"We collected data over a period of six months and analysed this to get a better idea about the worst-affected areas," he said. The analysis revealed Byculla, Worli and NM Joshi Marg areas had the most cases.
This information helped to strengthen police patrolling naka bandi (spot checking of vehicles) and the result has been positive.
"We realised that depending only on human intelligence wouldn't help. So, we used technology and we are glad that the number of chain-snatching incidents has reduced considerably," Deshmukh said.
Making a difference
Zone III police report a decrease in the number of chain-snatching incidents in January-April 2014
Jan-Apr 2013: 39 cases
Jan-Apr 2014: 10 cases