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Delhi Police chief blames migrants, youth’s frustrations for rising crime graph

Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik said that his force was able to control the “heinous” crimes such as dacoity, attempt to murder, robberies, rioting and rapes, which showed an overall decline of 11.72% compared to the previous year.

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2019 10:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik speaks to the media during the annual press conference of Delhi Police, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik speaks to the media during the annual press conference of Delhi Police, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. (Sushil Kumar/HT Photo )
         

Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik on Wednesday blamed the “migrant population” and the “ambitions” and “frustrations” of youngsters as the reason for the 6% increase in the annual crime rate in 2018 compared to 2017.

“When youngsters living in underprivileged clusters located next to the affluent neighbourhoods see the rich people leading a comfortable life, they have ambitions of getting rich quickly. So, they are taking to street crimes like snatching and robberies,” said Patnaik, while releasing the annual crime statistics for 2018 on Wednesday.

“There is a relentless churning of youth’s ambitions, often giving rise to frustrations. The socio-economic disparities between the rich and the poor are giving rise to criminals,” said Patnaik, adding that the “social structures” were “loosening” and families were losing control over youngsters.

Patnaik, speaking at a news conference at the NDMC convention centre, took over the mike from his colleague to make the point and said police’s analysis of crimes has pointed to these factors.

A total of 2,36,476 cases were registered in 2018, with an increase in the number of murders (3.25%) and thefts (7.7%), particularly of vehicles (12.98%), even as street crimes such as robberies and snatching came down compared to the previous year.

Patnaik, however, said that his force was able to control the “heinous” crimes such as dacoity, attempt to murder, robberies, rioting and rapes, which showed an overall decline of 11.72% compared to the previous year. The police also claimed to have solved nearly 36% of all crimes, a 2% increase compared to 2017.

The top cop also blamed drugs, illicit alcohol and illegal firearms as significant contributing factors to the rise in crime, and said these factors had been “acted upon”.

The recovery of illegal weapons rose by 38%, heroin by 281% and illicit liquor by 4%, the crime data shows.

While burglaries declined by 59%, thefts of vehicles and other items continued to trouble the public as well as the police through the year. With 121 vehicles being stolen every day on an average, the crime accounted for nearly one in every five offences reported last year.

The police claimed to have “cracked” nearly 20% of vehicle thefts, but didn’t share the data on how many stolen automobiles were recovered.

“In many big cities such as Washington and New York, vehicle thefts are not investigated as well as the Delhi Police do,” said Patnaik, calling out to Delhi residents and vehicle manufacturers to do their bit to secure their vehicles.

Like it has been happening in the past few years, the Delhi Police also attributed the high crime rate to the “ease” of reporting most offences.

Crimes against women declined but only marginally, shows the data. “Only 2.5% of all rapes were committed by strangers as against 3.36% the previous year,” the police said in their bid to point out that they had limited the role of such people, ensuring better women’s safety.

On an average, a woman was raped every four hours and 28 minutes last year. The year which witnessed the Me Too movement rising in India, nearly five women complained of being raped by their employers or colleagues every month.

The police claimed that more boots on the ground, targeting vulnerable places and communities and a planned crackdown on criminals had ensured fewer heinous crimes. The police also claimed credit for a 23.43% decrease (from 64 to 49) in road rage cases.

Though the city frequently witnessed the use of firearms by street criminals, some of who left their victims dead or maimed, the police’s figures showed an 11.32% decline in use of guns.

The commissioner acknowledged that the reduced use of firearms was “no consolation” and said the police were increasingly reaching the source of the weapons after seizing them. “The porous borders and influx of criminals from neighbouring states is a problem,” said the commissioner.

Stressing the need for people to “feel” safer in Delhi, the commissioner said an “elaborate public perception survey” is to be carried out this year to help the police gauge the “needs and expectations” of the people.

First Published: Jan 10, 2019 10:24 IST

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