Rise in crimes in Delhi, police redraws strategy

Delhi witnessed a 3% rise in crime last year, reversing the trend of the past three years and prompting city police to redraw its strategy for 2011 which included identification of crime-prone zones and re-deployment of resources.

Updated: Jan 06, 2011, 18:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Delhi witnessed a three per cent
rise in crime last year, reversing the trend of the past three
years and prompting city police to redraw its strategy for
2011 which included identification of crime-prone zones and
re-deployment of resources there.

The number of crimes reported in the capital rose to
52,675 from the previous year`s 50,972, riding on an increase
in cases of rape, molestation, robbery, snatching,
motor vehicle theft and kidnapping.
This is for the first time since 2007 that the number of
crimes showed a growing trend in the capital. In 2006, the
number was 84,484, while the next year saw 74,111 cases. The
year 2008 saw a drastic drop to 53,072.

However, city Police Commissioner B K Gupta sought to
downplay the rise in numbers saying crime per lakh population
is the lowest in the past ten years. In 2001, the crime per
lakh population was 392.66, the highest in ten years, while
the figure for last year was 275.66.

"Crime is more or less at the same level in the city.
Technically one can say that there is an increase. Crime per
lakh calculation gives the correct assessment of crime rate in
a city and everybody does that," Gupta said.

Addressing the Delhi Police annual press conference here,
Gupta said he did not believe in not registering cases to show
lesser number of crimes. "If you don`t register cases, how
will you be able to arrest people?" he said.

Outlining the strategy for this year, he said tackling
street crimes and safety and security of women and senior
citizens will be high on his agenda coupled with transforming
the force to a "people-friendly and responsive" one.
Twenty-six out of 155 police stations, mainly in Outer
and south-west districts like Rohini, Mangolpuri and Dwarka,
account for about 50 per cent of the crimes committed in the
capital, he said.

"We are into identifying the vulnerable areas. We are
redeploying our manpower in these areas. Mobile patrolling
will be increased in crime-prone areas," Gupta said adding,
there will be a focus on bikers` gangs with regular checkings
of vehicles.

Noting that he wanted at least some police stations to
achieve ISO standards, Gupta said the facilities should have a
better delivery system. "Delhi is a metro and the capital. It
needs an officer-oriented policing. We have approached the
government for recruitment of 500 Sub-Inspectors by
surrendering posts of 800 constables," he said.

The Commissioner said there will be a special emphasis
on identification and arrest of active criminals and effective
use of stringent MCOCA.

For ensuring safety of women, he said women personnel
will be deployed in more police stations besides conducting
special checkings in buses during morning and evening hours
and opening of a woman-dominated police station in South
Campus of Delhi University.

According to Delhi Police statistics for the year 2010
till December 15, snatching and vehicle thefts showed the
sharpest increase. Vehicle theft cases accounted for 29 per
cent of the total cases.
There were 1,596 cases of snatching in the capital last
year as against 1,289 in 2009 while the vehicle theft cases
rose to 13,794 cases as against 11,892.

"I have asked police to register a case on vehicle
thefts within an hour or two. This is very important as people
stole vehicles not for sale only. It has come to light most
of the crimes were committed using stolen vehicles.

"Once we are able to crack on this, we may be able to
have a check on crime also," Gupta said adding 93 per cent of
the snatchers arrested were first timers and 61 per cent were

The city registered a slight dip in the number of murders
from 527 to 519, most of which were committed by first-timers
for trivial reasons due to sudden provocation, bursts of
passion or old enmity.

A huge 93 per cent of the murders were committed by
first-timers while in 57 per cent of the cases, the murderers
were in the age group of 25 years or below.

Out of the total killings, 15 per cent were
passion-related, 19 per cent were crime-related, 15 per cent
were due to sudden provocation, 13 per cent for personal
enmity and 10 per cent because of family disputes.

Attempt to murder cases also showed a dip from 360 to
297 this year while cases of robbery rose to 567 from 484.
Kidnapping for ransom cases were 16 this year and
interestingly, in all cases the accused were first timers.
Eighty-seven per cent of the 34 arrested in such cases were
known to the victim.

"Policing Delhi is challenging to say the least. Before
undertaking this task, it is imperative that every person in
the police force understands that the police are not merely a
force, instead it is a service that every citizen of the city
and country deserves," he said.