Vile Parle-Kurla-Bandra belt emerges as hotbed

The North Central region has emerged as a hotbed of crime, with cases of rape, vehicle theft and house break-ins being the highest here.

The Vile Pale-Kurla-Bandra belt, classified as North Central Mumbai, saw 991 vehicle thefts, 41 rape cases, 565 cases of house break-ins and 567 accidents in 2011-12.

"As far as rape is concerned, there are various categories. Many cases are technical in nature where a minor girl marries against her parents' wishes. Cases like the rape of a Spanish national in Bandra are taken very seriously. A few cases of minors being raped have also been dealt with strongly," said Additional Commissioner of Police (West Region) Vishwas Nangre-Patil, under whose jurisdiction Vile Parle and Bandra fall.

DCP (Zone V) Dhananjay Kulkarni, who is in charge of Kurla, said, "Thefts are bound to rise with the increase in vehicles. With growing population, the number of criminal elements increases due to the socio-economic divide."

Police said cases of rioting were dependent on certain factors and not every case is a full-scale riot. According to Indian Penal Code, any unlawful assembly or assault by five or more persons is classified as a case of rioting.

The North Central region also faces a shortage of manpower, with 15 per cent difference between the number of sanctioned posts and the number of serving policemen. "The entire force is facing manpower shortage. We have to deal with it," Kulkarni said.

Nangre-Patil said the increase in number of cases registered was not necessarily a cause for worry. "There have been several incidents of police officers trying to avoid registering FIRs. We have taken stringent action in such cases. A rise in the number of cases registered also indicates that lodging complaints is now easier. It's important to look at cases detected rather than focusing on the number of cases registered," he said.

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