CHENNAI: More than a week after the daylight roadside robbery of a woman teacher caught on camera shook up the sleepy neighbourhood of MCN Nagar in Thoraipakkam, the fear it induced among the residents has not faded away.
Krishna, a resident, told Express, that a posse of police from the local police station flooded MCN Nagar after the video clip of the robbery went viral. “Yes, we see a lot of cops now. But there was visible police patrolling even before the robbery. For example, two months ago, cops asked me why a ground floor house remains locked and whether they need to keep an eye on it the night,” he said.
Yet, he is not convinced about the safety of female members of his family going out alone even during the day. “Remember, the robbery took place in broad daylight,” he said.
Uma Mageshwari, another resident, who learnt about the robbery through eyewitness accounts and watched the video, pointed out that the robber shooed away a cyclist who tried to intervene. “We heard that the robbers had been caught. But that has not changed anything here,” she added.
“Every act of robbery is frightening to the person who is the victim. But when you watch it unfolding through the video, it induces a kind of fear. It will not be possible for the police to cover every street in the city,” noted a senior police official.
“We are taking up confidence building measures among the civilians and covering every residential area in the city to ensure their safety,” the official added.
Though visible police patrolling seems to acting as a deterrent, incidents of snatching are still continuing in the city.
The city police’s crime stats suggest that the number of robberies have dipped, since only 64 cases were reported this year as against 74 last year between January 1 and November 15, which works out to a decline of 14%.
The number of chain snatching cases had also reportedly decreased by 23%. While 389 cases were reported this year until November 15, the corresponding stood at 506 during the previous year for the same period.