Mumbai ranks fifth in crimes among 19 cities in India
Amid the spate of Covid-enforced restrictions, Mumbai saw only a marginal drop in registered crimes in 2020, ranking fifth among 19 metropolitan cities, according to the latest crime statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Tuesday.
Data showed that Mumbai recorded 58,676 cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and special and local laws in 2020, down from the 60,823 offences in 2018 and up from the 57,073 recorded in 2018. Delhi (262,443), Chennai (168,450), Ahmedabad (82,609) and Surat (59,604) registered more crimes registered than Mumbai
The NCRB report also revealed that Maharashtra saw a rise in crimes in over the last three years. The state recorded 394,017 cases in 2020, a rise of 47,726 from 2018 (346,291)
Experts said that although registered IPC cases showed an increase of around 1,000 in Mumbai (when comparing 2018 to 2020), this was because of violations committed by people under section 188 of the IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) for violation of lockdown restrictions.
According to the police, incidents of street crime also decreased considerably, owing to the movement in restrictions in 2020 as there were fewer people on the streets. Officers said that the heavy presence of police personnel on the road, including more than 150 checkpoints across the city during the lockdown period, directly contributed towards getting the crime rate down. The statistics revealed that in 2020, at least 16,181 cases were registered under section 188 IPC in Mumbai.
“Last year, the government had announced a total lockdown due to which people did not get out to register a complaint even if a crime was committed,” said an officer.
Mumbai was yet in the second place for cases registered for grievous hurt and assault with 4,229 cases, coming after Kolkata with 4,51.
“Steady increase in crime rate could be the result of increasing unemployment in a metropolis like Mumbai. However, several reasons can be behind the increasing crime rate, which can only be determined by examining the data closely,” said professor Vijay Raghavan Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) centre for criminology and justice.
Some experts claim that since Mumbai is still a growing metro with several job opportunities, many people migrate to the city, making it difficult to know about their background. “There are several people who do not even know who is their neighour or have never even spoken to them. It becomes easy for criminals to blend in such circumstances and commit crime without leaving a trace,” said an IPS officer, who did not wish to be named.