Mumbai recorded a marginal dip in the number of registered crime cases in 2020 as compared to 2019. The figure came down from 60,823 cases in the pre-pandemic year to 58,676 cases in 2020, when the city faced strict lockdown restrictions. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), only Delhi (2.62 lakh), Chennai (1.68 lakh), Ahmedabad (82,609) and Surat (59,604) registered more cases than Mumbai among the 19 metropolitan cities in the country.
Notably, most criminal offences that took place last year can be attributed to pandemic-related lockdown violations. In 2020, out of the total 58,676 cases, as many as 16,000 cases were registered and 16,180 people were arrested under Section 188 (Disobedience to Order Duly Promulgated by Public Servant) of the Indian Penal Code. In 2019, only 166 cases were registered and 166 people arrested under the same section.
As per Mumbai Police, except for cybercrimes and motor vehicles theft, there was a drop in all major crimes like murder, robbery, theft, burglary, rape and molestation when compared to 2019. Cybercrimes rose to 2,435 cases last year from 2,225 cases in 2019. Similarly, MV thefts shot up from 2,693 cases in 2019 to 2,801 cases in 2020.
A similar trend was witnessed in all the 19 cities surveyed by the NCRB. The Bureau stated, “A total of 9,24,016 cognizable crimes were registered in 19 metropolitan cities during 2020, showing an increase of 7.6% over 2019 (8,59,117 cases).”
Of the total cases recorded under the IPC during 2020, cases against theft accounted for 33% (2,20,772 out of 6,68,061 cases), followed by violation of Section 188 with 23.4% (1,56,593 cases) and assault cases comprised 5.3% (35,081 cases).