A significant segment of Delhi population feels the capital is not safe for women and children while the city has witnessed a spurt in crime against women and theft cases, according to a survey.
The survey also highlights that 68 per cent of the respondents who witnessed any crime and informed the police were not satisfied with the response of police officials. Almost two-thirds, 67 per cent of those respondents who were the victims of some crime and had reported to the police were also not satisfied with the police’s response.
The survey conducted by Praja Foundation, an NGO, covering 28,624 households across Delhi found that 40 per cent of the respondents do not feel secure in Delhi whereas 50 per cent feel that Delhi is not secure for women, children and senior citizens.
In its latest report on the "State of Policing and Law and Order", the NGO, aiming to empower citizens with dissemination of information, states that of the total respondents who had been victims of crime in Delhi, 64 per cent used the police helpline numbers like 100 to report to the police, while only 5 per cent actually visited the police station and registered an FIR.
As per the data obtained through RTI by Praja Foundation from Delhi Police, the highest number of cases registered is of theft, with 75,728 cases in 2017-18, which is an increase of 82 per cent from the previous year, 2016-17.
"The number of rape cases reported in Delhi is rising. With 2,207 cases of rape reported in 2017-18, there is a 3 per cent increase from the previous year 2016-17. Out of the total number of kidnapping (5,757) and abduction (496) cases registered in Delhi in 2017-18, 65 per cent and 63 per cent of the victims were women, respectively”, said Milind Mhaske, Director at Praja Foundation.
There has been an increase in cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act from 991 in 2016-17 to 1,137 in 2017-18. Out of the total rapes report in 2017-18, 52 per cent cases were reported under POCSO Act.
Adding to this, no questions were raised by the Members of Parliament (MPs) on issues related to women in sessions starting from Monsoon session 2017 to Budget session 2018.
In the last five years from 2014-15 to 2017-18, the highest number of cases reported were that of theft— 75,728 cases in 2017-18, which is an increase of 82 per cent from the previous year 2016-17.
North West District reported the highest registration of theft cases—8,461—in the year 2017-18.
“Moreover, the ‘Crime in India’ report by the National Crime Records Bureau, which maintains and tracks the number of pending cases, acquittals and convictions in court, is not out for this year. This makes it difficult to monitor and track the registered cases”, Nitai Mehta, Managing Trustee of the Praja Foundation said.
NCRB’s role is to generate and maintain sharable national databases on crimes and criminals for law enforcement agencies and uphold their use for public service delivery.
These crime Statistics are imperative for upholding law and order in the country and form a major tool for the police force to prevent and detect crimes in India. But the delay in reports every year compromises the efficient functioning of the police officials and prevention of crimes in India.
“This shows that there is a need to create a strong awareness campaign against sexual abuse of children with all the stakeholders i.e. police, elected representatives, legal professionals, children, parents, schools and colleges, etc.” Mehta added.
"Our data shows that apart from increasing crimes, there is a shortage of police personnel in the Delhi Police department. As of March 2018, positions of Additional Commissioner of Police (-45%), Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (-43%), Assistant Commissioner of Police (-43%) and Police Sub - Inspector (-31%) have the highest shortfall," added Mhaske.
Such a shortage directly affects the investigation and law and order of the city, he added.
It is imperative to fill up gaps in the sanctioned and available strengths of the police force at the level of the Investigating Officers for better investigation and maintenance of law and order.
Increased involvement of the elected representatives by questioning the government on law and order and security is needed. Moreover, ‘Crime in India’ report should be published on a timely basis for better monitoring, analysis and prevention of crimes in India.