Most of them are suave and well-educated, making it difficult to profile them, says the Delhi Police

With 26 of the 27 pickpockets held in Delhi Metro trains last month being women, the trend of their involvement in such crimes is growing.

An overwhelming majority — nearly 90 per cent — of the over 400 pick pocketing cases last year on the metro involved women perpetrators.

No organised gangs

A Delhi Police officer said most detected cases were not carried out by organised gangs, but isolated in nature. On the growing trend itself, a police officer said women took advantage of the fact that few passengers even suspected that they could commit such a crime.

“Many of them are suave and come across as well-educated, making it difficult to profile them,” he said.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is in-charge of Delhi Metro security, has also been profiling women offenders to curb the menace of pick pocketing.

An officer said they discovered that pick pocketing takes place on metro lines leading to busy market places.

“For instance, Yellow Line stations such as Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar have a huge footfall and hence provide the pickpocket more options. Another reason they choose such stations is because a lot of outsiders come here for business,” the officer said.

Then there are stations such as New Delhi, Anand Vihar or Kashmere Gate, which are connected to either broad gauge railway networks or Inter-State Bus Terminals and hence are frequented by many outsiders. Within the metro, the crowded general compartments is where the majority of pick pocketing takes place, the officer added.

CCTV footage

In most reported cases, the accused are caught red-handed, but the police said at times CCTV footage also helps nab the suspects.

Since provisions of the Indian Penal Code dealing with theft are slapped against those arrested, many come out on bail or after serving short sentences and return to doing what they know best.

Repeat offenders

The CISF has been trying to track down these repeat offenders.

“Their pictures are clicked and compiled in a digest form. These digests are then sent to all stakeholders, including the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Delhi Metro Police. While having a previous record of such crimes itself cannot be a reason to deny a commuter entry, the digest aids our personnel in profiling and better monitoring. This ensures that habitual offenders are detected easily,” a CISF officer explained.

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