HYDERABAD:The Cyberabad Police is all set to deploy 55 armed anti-snatching teams who will not only "spot and intercept" chain snatchers, but also fire at the offenders if they attack the policemen.
"We have formed 55 armed anti-snatching teams comprising of two police personnel each who can fire in self-defence if they come under attack by chain snatchers," Cyberabad Police Commissioner C V Anand told PTI.
"The team members will also soon get a special mobile phone application that will provide database (photos) of chain snatching offenders from across the country," he said. "This is a self-defence measure and will give them confidence to do their job. The offenders sometimes may be armed. If the offenders attack the cops, they can retaliate by opening fire in self-defence," Anand explained.
These motorbike-borne teams would be deployed in 10 days at different hot spots of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate where most chain snatching cases are reported, he said. About a year ago, notorious chain snatcher Lamba, of Irani gang, was caught after a chase by a police team, but he immediately took out a knife and stabbed a head constable and managed to escape. It has become necessary to provide arms to the teams with such experience of the past, he said.
"We have selected young recruits from the Armed Reserve and Civil Police. We have given them hire charges for their bikes. They will be using their own bikes and they will be camouflaged.
They will move around like any ordinary citizens in plain clothes and one cannot make out if they are constables. Their job is to spot and intercept. I am sure their presence will act as deterrence," the Commissioner said.
The special app will provide the teams all available photographs along with CCTV footage of the offenders. "The offenders have become fearless. They know that once they are caught they can come out from jail on bail within days. Some deterrence should be there," Anand said.
As part of the armed training, weapon firing practice was done. Now they will be imparted high speed driving skills. Some of them are already in the field and in another 10 days, all 55 teams will be deployed on the vulnerable spots.
The anti-snatching police teams will move around in lanes and bylanes, near temples and in secluded stretches in the habitations to keep a watch on the movement of offenders.
In 2013, as many as 1,026 chain snatching cases were reported that fell to 744 last year, and this year till date around 280 cases have been reported, the Cyberabad Commissioner said.
The city has also seen rise in incidents of women getting injured during chain snatching. One such woman died under Osmania University police station limits a few months back.