Crimes soar by 12% in Delhi, but police say city is safer

Crimes in Delhi increased by 12% in 2017 compared to the previous year, but Delhi Police has claimed that the city had become a lot safer because heinous crimes — like rapes, murders, robberies and snatchings — had decreased. Presenting the annual crime data at a press conference, police chief Amulya Patnaik, attributed the 12% increase in crime to registration of theft cases of all types. While thefts reported from homes, on streets and other places rose by 37%, vehicle thefts went up by 6.5%. Together, these thefts accounted for nearly 70% of the 2,23,075 cases registered in Delhi last year.

Commissioner Patnaik attributed the increase in theft cases to the growing popularity of the online FIR registration facility that the police had launched in 2015. All crimes categorised as heinous witnessed a dip of 23.43% in 2017, compared to the year before. Heinous crimes such as robberies, kidnapping for ransom and rioting decreased by more than 35% each. “Apart from decrease in heinous crimes, we were also able to improve our crime detection rates. In 2016, we had solved 71.81% of all crime cases. Last year, we improved it to 87.98%,” said Patnaik.

Last year, police said they also had other initiatives such as inducting Parakram (anti-terror vans), cycle patrols (for patrolling in parks and lanes), Prahari (seeking help from neighbourhood guards for policing) and Yuva (imparting skills to counter delinquency) that helped curb crimes.

Other senior officers said crimes had also decreased because of the special focus on seizing illegal weapons (up by 50%) and illicit liquor (seizure increased by 39%) last year. “Use of illegal firearms in crimes came down by over 6% because of our crackdown on arms dealers. Since public drinking also leads to crimes, we prosecuted nearly 25,000 for drinking in public places,” said RP Upadhyay, Special CP (crime).