Friday, September 30, 2011

CCTV’s ring down petty thefts in Mumbai

The use of CCTV camera’s in developed countries largely acted as forensic tool to trace criminals. Many of whom now wear masks to remain anonymous. In India however, the CCTV camera has proved its importance as a tool to bring down the rising menace of petty theft that takes places on crowded roads and streets.
Indian women normally always wear a gold necklace as a symbol of marriage or as a custom. Gold prices have hit the roof, making gold items a hot pick. Bike borne thieves snatch these chains and purses, from pedestrian women or from those seated in autoricksaws (canopied semiopen three wheelers).
While the state police forces try to fund acity surveillance networks, CCTV's installed by shop owners in crowded markets have proved a quick deterrent as they enable cops to identify the thieves and/or their motorcycle number making it difficult for helmet borne thieves to escape. There has been a steep drop in crime in these areas.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Believe it or Not! A Fake Police Academy

In the city of Mumbai there were several reports of crooks impersonating policemen committing petty crime. An elderly couple from my neighborhood were recently stopped on the way to a night party and conned of their jewelry by fake cops. Few would have suspected that these impersonations were actually an organized crime ring complete with its own fake academy to train cops. When the ring was busted and the racket exposed, I was amazed at the quality of management and practices used to commit these crimes.
For starters, each recruit was carefully selected based on their credentials which were height, build, basic education to pick up legal terms, command over the local language and confidence to pull off the role. Each fake cop was trained and equipped with police uniforms, id cards and hand cuffs. Trainees were shown how cops spoke, dressed, walked and where they ate. Before entry into the gang, trained recruits were sent on test runs to con women of their jewelry or extort money from hoteliers. Only if successful they were drafted into the gang. Those who did not make it were employed for hard crimes such as robberies, extortion and kidnapping.
Similar methods are used by criminals who indulge in cybercrime such as email scams.