Three rapes, 126 vehicle thefts per day in Delhi in 2019: NCRB
Delhi reported at least three rapes and 126 vehicle thefts every day in 2019 -- the year when overall crime in the national capital went up by 20% compared to the previous year, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Report.
To be sure, the national crime rate has grown by 3% during the same period.
As per the NCRB data, thefts accounted for most of the crimes in Delhi. Over 82% of the 299,475 crimes in Delhi were thefts -- such as burglaries, stealing of vehicles or snatching that do not involve use of force.
The crimes in this category saw an increase of 25.7% as compared to 2018. In sharp contrast, thefts accounted for just a little over 20% of the 3.2 million crimes across India where the overall thefts increased by 8%.
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Robberies, however, witnessed a substantial dip of 20% even though the rate (number of cases per 100,000 population) remained the highest across India. The rate of robbery cases in Delhi last year was 9.8 as against the all India rate of 2.3; and 6.3 by the next ranked state Maharashtra.
Robberies are different from thefts. Robberies include use of force while committing a theft and are registered under a separate IPC section.
The NCRB does not maintain separate data for street crimes, particularly snatching, which is a rising menace in the city. That is because a crime like snatching on the streets is either registered in the first information report (FIR) under IPC section of theft or a robbery, depending on whether force was used or not.
But the Delhi Police’s data shows that until August 15 this year, there have been nearly 20 incidents of snatching every day in the national capital.
Despite fewer people going out due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a 6% increase (4,257) in the snatching incidents this year compared to 4,010 in the corresponding period last year, according to police data.
Vehicle thefts dip
Vehicle thefts witnessed a negligible dip of 0.46%. While 46,433 vehicle thefts were reported across Delhi in 2018, last year there were 46,215 such cases.
However compare to the national average, the scene in Delhi remains bleak. The vehicle theft rate in Delhi in 2019 was 231.8 compared to 17.8 nationally and 12.6 in Uttar Pradesh -- the second ranked state in this category.
24 rapes every week
Rape cases in 2019 in Delhi rose by 3% compared to the previous year, the NCRB data shows. In 969 cases, children were victims compared to 989 such instances in 2018. Cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act dipped marginally from 1,736 to 1,719.
The NCRB data shows that in 98.7% of the 1,253 total rape cases in 2019, the victims and the suspects were known to each other. Of them, 129 were family members, 588 were friends, neighbours or employers and 520 were cases in which the accused were online friends, estranged partners or rapes on the pretext of marriage.
Reported cases of molestation fell by 13% to 2,355 last year. Incidents of sexual harassment went down to 456, a 17% decrease compared to 2018.
Overall, crimes against women decreased by 6% from 12,521 to 11,755.
Drop in crimes against and by minors
The data shows a 5.7% dip in crimes against children -- from 6,271 to 5,915. Moreover, overall crimes allegedly executed by minors also saw a drop of about 3.5% from 2,727 in 2018 to 2,633 last year. But the number of murders committed by minors rose to 72 in 2019 compared to 58 in 2018.
Prakash Singh, former director-general of police (DGP) of Uttar Pradesh and Assam, said though he has not seen the NCRB data, he found Delhi to be a better place for registration of cases compared to other states.
“If Delhi saw a 20% increase in registered IPC crimes in 2019 when compared to the national spike of 3%, I must say that Delhi is a better place for registration of crimes than other Indian states. I want to compliment the Delhi Police for truthfully and faithfully registering the cases,” said Singh.
But, more than the statistics, the focus should be on crime detection rate, timely filing of charge sheets, and behaviour of police personnel towards complainants, Singh added. “This would help in building confidence among the public,” he said.
A Delhi Police spokesperson said, “The Delhi Police believes in truthful registration of cases and fair investigation. Our crime prevention strategies include analysing all crime related calls received in the police control room and accordingly register first information reports (FIRs). These practices may lead to rise in registration of cases but we should not be bothered about numbers.”
“Our focus should be on making efforts to nab the offenders and bring them to justice. In the long run, this will eventually lead to a decline in the number of FIRs. Our prime focus is on curbing serious crimes such as snatching, robbery, house theft, murder and crimes against women and children. As far of cases of thefts are concerned, the Delhi Police have provided people with a platform where they themselves register FIRs online related to property thefts, including vehicles,” the spokesperson said.