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Among 19 metro cities, crime rate in Delhi highest in 2020

The NCRB report, released on Tuesday evening, showed that police stations across the city registered 245,844 cases under different sections of the IPC
According to the NCRB, 3,770 minors were kidnapped in Delhi in 2020, the highest across 19 metropolitan cities (Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 16, 2021 04:52 AM IST
ByHT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

For the second consecutive year in 2020, Delhi reported the maximum crime rate among 19 metropolitan cities with more than 2 million population, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau report.

The report showed that Chennai with total 88,388 cases and a crime rate of 101.6 was the second on the list.

The report, released on Tuesday evening, showed that police stations across the city registered 245,844 cases under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), at the rate of 150.6 per million population of the city.

For calculating the rate of crime (number of crimes per hundred thousand population) the NCRB considered the population of the 19 metropolitan cities as per the 2011 Census data. According to the report, the population of Delhi in 2011 was 16.3 million.


In 2019 too, Delhi reported a total of 295,693 cases -- highest among 19 cities that year.

The report showed that Chennai with total 88,388 cases and a crime rate of 101.6 was the second on the list. Mumbai registered total 50,158 crime cases in 2020 at the rate of 27.2 per million population, and Kolkata reported the lowest crime rate among the 19 cities with 10.9 case per million population.

On the reasons for the national capital reporting such a high crime rate, Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said, “In Delhi we ensure hundred per cent registration of crime. Complainants are not turned away at any police station. Senior police officers also conduct checks on the status of complaints that are filed at each station. It is monitored at the highest level. This is one reason why the number of IPC crimes is high. Also, one must not forget that the data shows the crimes have decreased. Many times, people from other states also come and file FIRs in the capital. We file Zero FIRs in such cases and transfer them to the respective states, so that the complaint is brought to its logical conclusion.”

Biswal added that facility of registration of FIRs online is also another reason for the high cases. “Over 66% of the crimes in Delhi are registered online. It is a measure of the empowerment of public that citizens can easily lodge their FIR themselves without even stepping inside a police station. People do not have to run from pillar to post. People lodge a complaint, an FIR is registered and we start investigation. This is done to ensure that citizens do not face any harassment at the police station. Most importantly, let me reiterate that Delhi Police does not allow organised crime anywhere on the streets. In fact, we urge citizens to come forward and file complaints.”

Drop in number of murders

The NCRB data shows that 461 persons were murdered in Delhi in 2020. Compared to this, in 2019, 505 people were murdered in the city.

Delhi Police officers, who asked not to be named, said the numbers would have been even less if the Delhi riots had not taken place. At least 53 people were killed in clashes between Hindus and Muslims in different localities of north-east Delhi in February 2020.

According to the data, the city reported 461 cases of murder in 2020 -- the highest among the 19 metropolitan cities. However, the rate of murder (cases per million population) was 0.2, which was less than Nagpur, Jaipur and Patna, and equal to Bengaluru, Indore and Lucknow.

Going by the report, Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is a much safer place. The city reported 148 murders at a crime rate of 0.8.

Kidnapping of children

The NCRB data shows that 3,770 minors were kidnapped in Delhi, the highest across 19 metropolitan cities. In Bengaluru there were 654 such cases, Kolkata had 266, Mumbai had 1,150, and Chennai 14.

The report said that the crime rate could not be calculated in this category because of the non-availability of data on the population of minors, or those aged below 18 years, in these cities.

According to the law, a kidnapping case is registered when a person is taken without the use of force. But, when force involved, police register a case of abduction.

Crime against women

In absolute numbers, Delhi reported the maximum cases of rape 967 in all 19 cities. However, in terms of crime rate, Jaipur topped the cities with 1.3 cases of rape per million population. The same for Delhi was 0.5.

Comparison of rape cases in all states put Rajasthan on top with 5,337 cases. Nagaland reported the lowest number of cases at 4; and the lowest crime rate of 0.4 among all states and union territories, according to the NCRB statistics.

Expert speak

Ashok Chand, a retired IPS officer, who served in Delhi Police for over three decades and held key posts in crime branch and special cell, said one should not look at the rankings according to the NCRB data. He said absolute numbers may predict the increase or decrease in a particular crime category, but causality and several other factors that lead to a crime are equally important, therefore, rankings are not always fair.

“Data is important to understand which crime has become more frequent. One should not compare crime across cities or states or on the basis of case numbers or crime rates. By looking at the numbers, police should analyse why certain crimes are on the rise. Even if one crime is decreasing then police should find out why it has suddenly decreased. There are several factors that lead to a particular crime. Instead of comparing, one should use this data to take preventive steps and ensure that declining crimes are reduced further,” Chand added.

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