Crime marginally reduced this year in Delhi compared to the last year with only motor vehicle theft registering an increase over the previous year.
Latest annual crime data by the Delhi Police shows that cases of molestation (from 5,328 to 4,005) and robbery (from 7,141 to 4,538) showed the maximum dip.
However, Delhi reported a rape every four hours in 2016. Compared to last year’s 2,069 rape cases, 2029 were registered this year. Of these, police managed to solve only 1,744 cases.
The total cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – FIRs registered across Delhi – increased by 8.88% than last year’s 1.81 lakh to 1.97 lakh this year.
Robbery cases registered a sharp decline of 35.45%. Police believe demonetisation of high currency notes could be one of the reasons behind reduction in the robbery cases. Between November 8 and December 9 this year - a month of demonetisation – there were 315 robbery cases compared to 561 in the same period last year.
“The drop in robbery cases would have been less than 35.45% but because of demonetisation the cases reported a sharp decline since November 8. Since people are carrying less money, it makes them less vulnerable,” said an officer.
The numbers of murders too decreased from 530 to 490 cases this year, but a few sensational murders kept the police on their toes. The triple murder of a man, his wife and son at their house in central Delhi’s Rajender Nagar on January 10 was one among them. In November, the discovery of three mutilated bodies in 10 days, within a radius of 10 kilometres in south Delhi triggered fears of a serial killer. Police have solved two cases but are yet to make any headway in the third case.
The Delhi Police was also surrounded by controversies throughout the year. It began with their decision to book JNU student leaders under the archaic sedition law. It snowballed into a controversy forcing then police commissioner to admit that ‘excesses were committed from both sides (police and JNU students).’ Facing heat and protests, the police chief also said that cops would not oppose the bail of JNU students, only to retract later.
One crime that the police failed to keep bring down this year is the theft of vehicles. As many as 5,250 more vehicles were stolen this year than the last year, taking total such cases to 36,137. Police say they are meeting with their counterparts in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to bring down the motor vehicle thefts. Prashant Vihar in outer Delhi, which registered the highest snatching cases, topped the list in areas where most vehicles (920) were stolen, followed by Bhajanpura (630). Prashant Vihar also witnessed the maximum, 237, number of snatching cases.