A time-bound crime study done by the Central Railway's (CR) Railway Protection Force (RPF) has found that thieves and habitual offenders are more active during evening rush hours. In 2021, a total of 2308 cases of theft of passengers' belongings, including mobile phones, were registered, of which 20 per cent of thefts took place between 6.00 and 8.00 pm. Most of the thefts took place between 7.00 and 8.00 pm with 252 cases being registered, followed by 199 cases between 6.00 and 7.00 pm.
Meanwhile, 159 cases of theft were reported between 8.00 and 9.00 pm in 2021 on local trains along the CR network. While the morning trains were more crowded,the number of thefts reported was comparatively less. A total of 153 cases of theft on CR locals between 9.00 and 10.00 am were registered 2021, followed by 113 cases of theft that took place between 8.00 and 9.00 am. Meanwhile, 113 cases were reported to have taken place between 10.00 and 11.00 am.
According to the study, thieves are also active between 12.00 noon and 1.00 pm with 117 cases of phone theft being reported. The study also revealed that around 75 per cent cases (2308) were reported to have taken place on trains and only 25 per cent (581 cases) were reported at the station premises. “During the rush hours in the evening, everyone is tired and their guard is down.
Also, most travelers are occupied with their cell phones. In the 70's chain snatching and stealing of pens and purses were high in the day as even the thieves would sleep early and start their activities in the morning. Today, the thieves start late to avoid the morning hustle and bustle,” said Dr Harish Shetty, a noted psychiatrist of Mumbai. He added that travelers are more alert in the morning and aware of their ecosystems during their journey.