Crime up

Crime up, only thefts, burglaries, down during pandemic

Mumbai:  Certain crimes in the city’s K-East Ward, reflecting trends all over the country, have gone down during the pandemic. According to Sahar Police station’s Senior Inspector Sanjay Govilkar, who also handles Mumbai Airport Security, “There was a decline in theft, rash driving, and assault on women because of the strict lockdown restrictions during 2020, as citizens stayed at home and movement was reduced.”

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) recently released the ‘Crime in India (CII) – 2020’ report. The data indicates that the total number of crimes registered in 2020 increased by 28% compared to 2019. As per the CII 2020 report, a total of 66.01 lakh crimes were registered in the year 2020. This is much higher than the number of crimes registered in the earlier years, which were 51.56 lakh (2019) and 50.74 lakh (2018).

The crime rate even for ‘Assault on Women’ decreased from 13.6 lakh in 2019 to 13 lakh in 2020. In the case of rape, this decreased from 4.9 lakh to 4.3 lakh, while for Domestic Violence fell from 19.2 lakh in 2019 to 17 lakh in 2020. 

However, MIDC Police station Senior Inspector Anagha Satavase, said, “We have seen a rise in crimes like attempt to murder and cyber-crime in the year 2020 and 2021.”

More people were losing their tempers during the pandemic. The crime rate for ‘Murder’ remained the same at 2.2 lakh while the attempt to murder increased from 3.8 lakh in 2019 to 4.3 lakh in 2020. ‘Death by negligence’ fell from 10.9 lakh to 9.4 lakh during this period. ‘Hurt’, which is an offence against the human body under the IPC, increased from 40.8 lakh in 2019 to 42.8 lakh in 2020. There is also a fall in the crime rate for kidnapping & abduction.

Advocate Sheeba Bhatt, practicing at the family court in Mumbai, said, “Mostly the clients that I have received in the past three years of lockdown have been for divorces and property disputes.”

While the Sahar police station reported a drop in Domestic Violence cases, the National Commission of Women said the opposite. The lockdown sharply increased the incidence of domestic abuse, both physical and emotional, with India recording the highest numbers in a decade.  The National Commission of Women reported more complaints filed in the first 68 days after lockdown than in the corresponding period over the last 10 years! The commission received 23,722 complaints in 2020, the highest single-year figure in the last six years. Now, as the pandemic comes to an end, it would appear that crime rates are racing to reach their earlier levels!

Pranita Sawant
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