Four special teams, comprising 10 police officers each, were formed recently to handle gangs and related crime in Chennai

Of the more than 50 murders in the city since January this year, at least half took place in Pulianthope.

This has made the north Chennai suburb the most notorious police district in the city. It is also home to a large number of gangsters, according to a study by the city’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) department.

Of the 160 gangsters identified as hardcore criminals, at least 54 are from Pulianthope.

The Pulianthope police district comprises some of the worst crime-hit areas such as Vysarpadi, Satyamurthy Nagar, M.K.B. Nagar and Kodungaiyur.

Every day, on an average, at least two instances of crime, including chain snatching, are reported from these areas. During the weekend, the police are kept on their toes. “We increase surveillance in crime-prone spots during the weekend as the chances of serious crimes such as murders are high,” said a senior police officer from the north zone.

Areas like Vyasarpadi, Satyamurthy Nagar, M.K.B. Nagar and Kodungaiyur, located along railway lines, mostly comprise slum tenements and housing quarters and have served as hideouts for petty thieves.

“A culture of violence has pervaded the area and affected the youngsters there,” said eminent criminologist, R. Thilagaraj, professor and head of the department of criminology, University of Madras.

These areas,

Four special police teams, comprising 10 officers each, were formed recently to handle gangs and related crime in the city.

Apart from the identified gangsters, the team will also monitor the movement and activities of around 700 former gangsters, who are currently ‘dormant’.

“For the past few years, there has been a rise in the number of ‘murders with motive’ and gang wars, especially in the northern and western neighbourhood of the city. The special teams were formed to crack down on such criminal activities,” said a senior police officer.

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