New Delhi: Registration of crimes in India increased by 28% in 2020 in comparison to 2019, an increase which largely owed to the violation of COVID-19 lockdown norms, the latest National Bureau of Crime Records (NCRB) data revealed. A total of 66,01,285 crimes were registered in 2020 in comparison to 51,56,158 in 2019, according to the report released on Wednesday.
“The country remained under complete lockdown from 25th March, 2020 and 31st May, 2020 due to COVID-19 Pandemic (First Wave), during which time movement in public space was very limited,” the report said.
“The cases registered under Crimes against Women, Children and Senior Citizens, Theft, Burglary, Robbery and Dacoity have therefore declined, whereas Covid related enforcement has resulted in increase of cases registered under 'Disobedience to order duly promulgated by Public Servant (Sec. 188 IPC)', under 'Other IPC Crimes' and under 'Other State Local Acts',” it added.
Crimes Against SCs,STs up By over Nine Per Cent
However, crimes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/STs) increased in 2020 in comparison to 2019. Crimes against SCs increased by 9.4 per cent – rising from 45,961 cases in 2019 to a total of 50,291 cases in 2020. Of this, the largest number of cases were of simple hurt (32.9% or 16,543 cases), followed by cases registered under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act with 8.5 per cent (4,273 cases) and cases under Criminal Intimidation with 7.5 per cent (3,788 cases).
Crimes against STs increased by 9.3 per cent – rising from 7,570 in 2019 to a total of 8,272 cases in 2020. Of this, simple hurt (2,247 cases) formed the highest number of cases of crimes against STs accounting for 27.2%, followed by rape with 13.7% (1,137 cases) and assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty with 10.7% (885 cases).
Uttar Pradesh (12,714 cases), Bihar (7,368 cases) and Rajasthan (7,017 cases) recorded the highest number of cases against SCs. In the case of STs the highest number of crimes were recorded in Madhya Pradesh (2,401 cases), followed by Rajasthan (1,878 cases) and Maharashtra (663 cases).
Crimes Against Women Sees Dip
Crimes against women saw a dip in the year 2020. A total of 3,71,503 cases of crime against women were registered during 2020, showing a decline of 8.3 per cent over 2019 (4,05,326 cases). However, the report also revealed that while the lockdown may have resulted in a lower number of crimes against women, majority of cases under crime against women under IPC were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (30.0%) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (23.0%), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (16.8%) and ‘Rape’ (7.5%). The crime rate registered per lakh women population was 56.5 in 2020 in comparison with 62.3 in 2019.
Crimes Against the State Decline
Amid the ongoing debate over crackdown on protests by the authorities over the past few years, the NCRB report revealed that crimes against the state have dipped by 26.7%. “A total of 5,613 cases have been registered in 2020 as compared to 7,656 cases in the year 2019, showing a decrease of 26.7%. Out of 5,613 cases, 80.6% of cases were registered under The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act (4,524 Cases) followed by 796 (14.2%) cases under The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,” the report said.
Spike in Environmental Offences, Cyber Crimes
The report also pointed at a massive spike in environmental offences in 2020. Environment related offences rose by 76.8% in 2020, rising from a total of 34,676 cases in the year 2019 to 61,767 cases in 2020.
Cyber crimes also increased by 11.8 % in 2020 with a total of 50,035 cases registered in comparison to 44,735 cases in 2019. “60.2% of cyber-crime cases registered were for the motive of fraud (30,142 out of 50,035 cases) followed by sexual exploitation with 6.6 per cent (3,293 cases) and Extortion with 4.9 per cent (2,440 cases),” the report said.