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Mumbai’s crime rate shoots up in 2018

While petty crimes, like theft and chain snatchings have been on a decline, 2018 saw a sharp rise in more serious crimes, including those that target women and children.

mumbai Updated: Dec 30, 2018 14:30 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai crime,Mumbai crime rate,FIR
The decline in street crimes is likely to be the result of both better policing and the installation of more than 5,000 CCTV cameras across the city. (Representational Image/HT)

After witnessing the first dip in the past decade in 2017, incidents of crime in the city once again rose in 2018. Between January and November this year, 33,182 first information reports (FIRs) were registered by the Mumbai Police. Last year, during this same period, the total number of FIRs was 31,923.

While petty crimes, like theft and chain snatchings have been on a decline, 2018 saw a sharp rise in more serious crimes, including those that target women and children. The decline in street crimes is likely to be the result of both better policing and the installation of more than 5,000 CCTV cameras across the city.

The general increase in the incidence of crime shouldn’t be seen as a worrying trend since the higher numbers reflect more people reporting crimes. “Crime rate cannot be zero in a city. There are many socio-economic factors that are responsible for crimes, especially body crimes, like murder, rape etc,” said a senior police official. Officials also pointed out that the while the 2018’s crime statistics are higher than those of 2017, they’re significantly lower than 2015, when the total number of registered crimes rose to 42,615. Officials pointed out that organised crime has subsided while the number of ‘crimes of passion’ has grown.

Serious crimes are difficult to prevent, said another official, which is why incidents of murder (140 in 2018 from 110 in 2017) and dacoity saw a spike (227 in 2018 from 171 in 2017). The number of crimes against women also rose in the city: till October this year, 4,087 cases of crimes against women were registered as compared to 3,726 cases for the same period last year.

Of the total 730 incidents of rape registered in 2018, minor girls were the victims/ survivors in 63.6% of the cases. Social worker and human rights activist Priti Patkar said, “We have seen more and more cases of minor boys being sexually abused as well.” In comparison to 687 cases being registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in 2017, as many as 1,007 cases were registered this year. Until October, there were 464 cases of molestations in 2018, compared to only 287 reported cases in 207.

An official from Mumbai Police said prevention of crime has been the “main focus”, pointing to initiatives like “police didi”, which includes conducting awareness campaigns to teach children ‘good’ and ‘bad’ touch. However, detection of crime dropped to 61% in 2018, which is four points lower than the percentage in 2017. Statistics show economic offences in the city have also increased from 88 in 2017 to 96 in 2018. The property involved in these FIRs is close to ₹3,643crores (and does not include the property recovered by the police this year).

The statistics do not include the property recovered by the police this year. “Security can improve only with better technological adaptation and better policing,” said Manjunath Shinge, spokesperson for the Mumbai Police force.

First Published: Dec 30, 2018 00:42 IST