New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Delhi Police over rising incidents of chain snatching in the national capital, asking it to make itself more visible on the streets to deter potential criminals.

Several incidents of snatching have been reported from Delhi in the last few days. Last Saturday, in Civil Lines, the handbag of PM Narendra Modi’s niece, Damyanti, was snatched by two youths, both of whom were later arrested. On Monday, a metropolitan magistrate’s cellphone was snatched in Kamla Nagar. Last month, a female journalist working with news agency ANI, too, was targeted by anti-social elements.

Taking note of these developments, justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said, “Recently, a judge’s phone was snatched. There was also an incident in Chanakyapuri. You should do something, fear of the police is going down.” The court’s observations came while it was hearing a matter in connection with the Delhi Police’s capability to ensure that it gets emergency response and patrolling vehicles.

Expressing concerns over the incidents of snatching, the court made it clear to the senior officers that the sight of high-speed patrolling vehicles will be a deterrent. Comparing policing in Delhi to that in Mumbai, it said that while in Delhi, traffic police ‘hides’ behind trees at intersections, in Mumbai, cops are visible at traffic signals and hence, in the maximum city, there is fear of law.

The judge also asked the police to do a ‘show of strength’ once as it will send a message.

The Delhi Police, meanwhile, told the court that it had indeed inducted high-speed vehicles to tackle incidents of crime. It also assured that the process of inducting more such vehicles was underway.