Increasing number of street criminals in Delhi are minors | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Increasing number of street criminals in Delhi are minors

In the last eight months, the Delhi Police have apprehended a large number of minor boys turned snatchers from all across the national capital. Till August this year, 417 boys were apprehended across the city in cases of robbery and snatching.

delhi Updated: Oct 07, 2015 00:28 IST
A majority of Delhi’s street criminals include minors, says Delhi Police data.
A majority of Delhi’s street criminals include minors, says Delhi Police data.(Shutterstock Image)

The young thief who snatched your mobile phone, wallet or your gold chain on a busy road may not necessarily be a hardened criminal. The youngster, who robbed you of your cash, that expensive mobile phone you bought recently, may well be a baby-faced 16-year-old teenager looking to make a quick buck.

In the last eight months, the Delhi Police have apprehended a large number of minor boys turned snatchers from all across the national capital. Police believe this increasing trend of juveniles taking to street crime is something to worry about. Most of the apprehended minors told police personnel that they rob and snatch on the roads to ensure that they can lead a lavish lifestyle with the stolen money.

Till August this year, 417 boys were apprehended across the city in cases of robbery and snatching. The number of juvenile thieves could be more police believe, because a majority of these juveniles are yet to be apprehended. What is even worse is that the police cannot even keep a record, even if they have proper information. Last year, the police had apprehended 297 minors in cases of robbery and snatching.

Rules do not allow the police to arrest any person under 18 years. “We have dossiers for every criminal and that is shared so that tracing the criminal becomes necessary. We cannot prepare a dossier for any minor, so it becomes difficult to trace their past involvements,” said a senior police official.

It isn’t just robbery and snatching but these teenage boys work in gangs and have also been apprehended for dacoity earlier. In legal terms, when five or more persons commit a robbery, the police register a case of dacoity. Last year, the police had apprehended 18 minors for dacoity. The figure till August 31, this year is 12.

Murder

The July 15 double murder of two security guards in a school at Civil Lines, north Delhi turned out to be the work of a 15-year-old. The minor later told the police that he suspected there was money in the Principal’s office and thus had planned the robbery-cum-murder.

Last year, 81 juveniles were apprehended for murder, the figure this year is 41.

On Monday, the Delhi police claimed to have solved last month’s triple murder of a woman and her two children with the arrest of three persons including a 16-year-old minor boy.

Senior police officials said that there have been several instances where juveniles in conflict with law have come out of reform homes and gone back back to their ways. “ There should be some mechanism to ensure that children who go to reformation homes are actually reformed. This is not happening,” said a senior police official.