The average age of criminals in Delhi is decreasing by the day. According to police figures, there has been a disturbing rise in the number of juveniles caught for different crimes this year.
"Most of the children we have nabbed for various crimes are between 10 and 16 years. Of the 48 caught this year, as many as 17 were involved in robberies and murders," said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.
"This year, the number of juveniles caught between January and April has doubled compared to last year."
City psychologists blame the rise in child crime on poor parenting and broken homes.
"There is a strong sense of victimisation in these children. They feel that life has been unfair to them. They feel their parents have not done enough for them. All this makes them commit crimes," said Rajat Mitra, director, Swanchetan Society for Mental Health.
The police blame the trend on the sorry state of juvenile protection laws.
"We're not supposed to maintain any records. We cannot arrest them. They are sent to juvenile detention centres. These children know that and commit crimes without any fear," added the officer.