Stretched zone V cops fall back on informants to prevent crime

With nearly half the strength of zone V of city police concentrated in and around Shivaji Park, police have stepped up tapping of informants in Mahim, Kurla and Dharavi, where a number of criminal elements are known to stay and operate, to prevent crimes.

Police manpower problems were compounded Tuesday after vandalism in Worli Monday night.

DCP (zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni admitted police were stretched due to the ongoing tension over a temporary structure built at Shivaji Park for cremation of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and after the Worli stone-pelting.

"Crime prevention and detection is bound to take a hit. There are fortunately no major unsolved crimes in the area, but in some pockets of the zone we can never be too careful. We are falling back on intelligence and keeping our eyes and ears open," he said.

Patrolling units have been instructed to keep a careful eye on movement of repeat offenders.

"Preventive arrests of history sheeters might have to be made. It all depends on the situation," Kulkarni said.

A recent survey by NGO Praja Foundation had revealed North-Central Mumbai, which includes Kurla, has the second-largest gap between the number of sanctioned posts and personnel.

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