For the longest time, the Mumbai Police have followed an accused transfer programme (ATP), wherein a criminal arrested by one police station is presented before others so that they can take over custody if he is wanted in a case. The pandemic changed everything and the practice stopped altogether in March 2020.
However, in July this year, the Mumbai Police resumed the programme, called Aaropi Aadan Pradaan, in an online format. They have now decided to intensify the programme and invited police personnel from other commissionerates to become a part of it.
As per the figures provided by the Mumbai Police, in the last five months, 738 accused have been produced in court this way, with over 70 cases detected through the ATP.
The police said that those indulging in petty crimes such as pickpocketing, bag lifting and chain-snatching are habitual offenders who change their area of operation to avoid suspicion, but their modus operandi remains the same. They are hard to nab as most don’t have a permanent address and some don’t even use cell phones, making it difficult to trace them. “When one such offender is caught, multiple cases are likely to be detected across multiple police stations,” said an officer.
In the programme that ran earlier, such criminals were produced before other police station staff in a meeting attended by senior inspectors as well as the detection staff. In the meeting, officials who arrested the accused would explain his modus operandi, details of recovery and also provide CCTV footage of the accused. This would help others ascertain whether the accused was wanted in their undetected cases. If the accused was indeed wanted, his custody was sought from the court concerned. Before the pandemic, region-wise meetings would take place, but these were stopped to avoid physical interactions.
When the ATP was resumed in July, it was decided to carry out the meetings in an online-only format, with Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Vishwas Nangare Patil, the additional commissioner of police and senior inspectors in attendance.
“For the last two meetings, we have also invited the police from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region to join us, as this will be beneficial for all. Most of the time we have seen criminals operating outside their residential areas. Such interactions will result in sharing of vital information which will certainly help us improve the detection rate,” said Patil.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)