The involvement of juveniles in cases of rape has witnessed more than two-fold increase in the last decade, much more than any other major crime.
The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report shows that in 2012 juveniles were involved in 1,175 rape cases across India as compared to 531 in 2002. For the same period, their involvement in murder cases increased from 531 to 990 and in theft from 3,361 to 5,528.
One crime where involvement of minors has risen at an alarming pace is auto theft. In 2002, they were involved in just 563 cases. A decade later, the number jumped to 1,626 cases. An increase of 188% -- a clear indication that auto-lifting gangs were using unsuspecting children to steal vehicles.
What could put law enforcers and child rights activists at loggerheads is the increase in percentage of minors in the 16-18 age group in total crimes committed by children below the age of 18.
Of 18,560 children involved in criminal activity in 2002, half were in the 16-18 age-group. Ten years down the line, of 27,936 children accused of criminal acts around one-third were in this age group. Involvement of children in the 16-18 age group in crimes against women was also found to be high.
Cyber Crime up by 60%
Maharashtra was the most favoured state for cyber criminals in the country in 2012, overtaking Andhra Pradesh, by recording 471 cyber crimes — highest in the country. It was followed by Andhra Pradesh (429) and Karnataka (412).According to the NCRB report 2012, cyber crimes in India have increased by 60% over 2011. While 1,791 cases were reported in 2011, the number increased to 2,876 in 2012.