May 1, 2021 6:04:16 am
Maharashtra witnessed a jump of 14 per cent in crime rate in 2020, a better part of which was spent in a lockdown, as compared to 2019, according to records.
The statistics compiled by the state Crime Investigation Department (CID) from January 2020 to December 2020 further revealed that even as crimes such as theft, house break-ins, robbery, dacoity, offences against women, use/sale of narcotics and property offences saw a drop, crime rate increased in offences of hurt, rioting, attempt to murder and cases under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The overall cases registered in 2019 under the Indian Penal Code were above 3.4 lakh across the state, which increased to over 3.9 lakh in 2020, an official from the CID said. The detailed data will be made available by next month.
The state saw a one per cent increase in cases of murder from 2020 and an eight per cent increase in cases of attempt to murder or section 307 of the IPC. Street crime chain-snatching saw a decrease of 47 per cent, dacoity a decrease of 23 per cent and theft a decrease of 42 per cent.
An official said that the most substantial decrease was in cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, with a drop of 67 per cent compared to 2019.
“A major reason for fewer crimes in many of these can be credited to increased presence of police on the streets due to the lockdown. Another reason was that police officials were busy in lockdown duties and did not find the time to conduct raids and investigations in their regular cases,” a senior police official said.
Cases against women also saw a decrease of 16 per cent with 10 per cent fewer rapes recorded than 2019. Organisations working with women had said that while more instances of domestic violence were expected due to the lockdown, they may not have led to registration of complaints by the victims as mobility was restricted due to the curbs that were in place since March 24 last year.
Officials said that the increase in crime could be credited to a jump in cases under sections pertaining to rioting, unlawful assembly and causing hurt. The year also saw registration of a number of cases for violations of lockdown restrictions and Covid-19 guidelines.
Besides, statistics put together by the prison department showed an increase of nearly 10,000 inmates lodged across city jails, mostly undertrials. Despite the release of convicts on emergency parole and undertrials on temporary bail due to Covid-19, the prison population has surged to over 35,000.
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