One in every four Mumbaiites feels unsafe in the city, according to a survey conducted by Praja Foundation, an NGO. Of the 22,580 people Praja interviewed, 27% said they didn’t feel secure in the city, 34% said they did not feel safe while travelling, and 32% said women, children and senior citizens in their neighbourhood didn’t feel secure.
According to the survey, 14% of respondents from south-central Mumbai (Chembur, Sion-Koliwada and Mahim) said they didn’t feel secure, as did 11% of those from the north-west region (Jogeshwari, Goregaon and Andheri).
Forty per cent of those surveyed in south-central Mumbai also had concerns about the safety of women, children and senior citizens in their areas.
When asked if the increase in the city’s population had anything to do with the rise in crime, Nitai Mehta, founder of the NGO, said, “The population rise is not directly responsible for the increasing crime rate. The main factor behind the rise in cases is the high chance of an acquittal. If I feel confident I will be acquitted, I am more likely to commit a crime.”
Praja also found that 10% of respondents had witnessed a crime, including those of serious nature such as murder and rape. Of those who have witnessed a crime, 44% have been victims of crime themselves, the survey revealed.
Only half of respondents were satisfied with the police’s response to crimes.
Residents of south-central Mumbai were the least satisfied, according to the survey. More than half of respondents who have been victims of crime were unsatisfied with the police’s response in their time of crisis.
The survey also looked at how people inform the police about crimes they witness. Most telephoned helpline numbers, while only 10% visited the police station.