State crime figures released by the Maharashtra Police on Monday showed a significant increase of 40% in the number of sexual harassment cases committed by minors in 2012,as compared to the previous year. While,on an average,25 cases were registered annually between 2007 and 2011,there were 40 such cases recorded in 2012.
Mumbai led the state in the arrest of juveniles aged between 12 and 16 years,putting 224 of them behind the bars in 2012. As many as 189 juveniles were arrested in Thane city,155 in Pune and 144 in Nagpur.
Increasingly,juveniles have also been found to be involved in white collar crimes like cheating,counterfeiting and theft of cultural property,Besides,they were charged under the Passport Act,the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and Copyright Act,too. There were 61 such white collar crimes registered in 2012.
The total number of crimes involving juveniles,however,decreased by 4.29% from 2011.
Others crimes committed by minors that saw an increase from 2011 were dacoity,arson,and causing death by negligence. There were 59 cases of negligence filed in 2012 as compared to the 2007-2011 average of 35.
The involvement of juveniles was also found in 177 murders registered across the state,with 16 in Mumbai.
A majority of the juveniles arrested in 2012 were living with parents or guardians,as opposed to the homeless and illiterates. Of all the juveniles arrested,5,866 were found to have been living with parents and 555 with guardians. These constituted 96.85% of the total arrests. In comparison,only 3.15% or 209 juveniles were homeless.