Delhi Police months ago made it mandatory for their officers to convert all complaints into first-information reports more than four years after a home ministry advisory, producing “remarkable” results.
As a result of the order, 56 station-house officers (SHOs) across the city have been served show-cause notices in the past two months.
Police sources admitted that reports of street crimes were being underplayed by the force to reduce crime rates and added that it had begun a survey of calls related to street crimes made to the control room.
The study revealed that on an average, over 20 reports of snatching were received daily. Similarly, more than 10 robberies were reported everyday to the PCR. However, only 10-15% of the calls, made mostly by the victims themselves, were being converted into FIRs to be counted in crime records.
The sources added that the survey, conducted daily, showed that some SHOs seemed reluctant to convert the complaints into FIRs citing trivial reasons, such as complainants refusing to pursue the case or they saying later that their calls were made to settle scores.
Detailed monitoring revealed that the SHOs were misusing the power to use their discretion in lodging FIRs to keep out frivolous and false complaints for keeping the crime records of their police stations “balanced”. As a result, genuine victims of crime were not getting redressed and were often harassed.
“Our objective was to put the policy of free registration of FIRs into practice. An order was issued on the instructions of the police commissioner to register FIRs in complaints lodged in street crimes,” an officer said.
After the order, the cases of snatching doubled — from 1,428 to 2,891 — between September 5 and November 25.
The order, the officer said, had maintained that SHOs not complying with the directions would face action.
Senior police officers say the results of the directions have been remarkable and has helped them understand the ground situation of street crimes. The rate of registration of FIRs in PCR calls has gone up to over 90%.
According to the police’s latest crime statistics, there has been an increase of around 125% in cases of snatching from last year’s comparative figure till November 25, while robbery cases have gone up by around 90%.