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Is Delhi safer? From riot to rape, here's what data says about crime rates

Business Standard/New Delhi 13 Jan 19 | 09:22 PM

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Delhi was the most unsafe among 19 major cities, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of rapes , 33 per cent of crimes against women and the highest crime rate in 2016, according to the National Crime Records Bureau data. It got the dubious distinction of topping the list in cases of murder, abduction, juveniles in conflict and economic offences for that year. But no longer. Crime rates in the city are falling.

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A total of 236,476 cases were registered in 2018, with an increase in the number of murders (3.25 per cent) and thefts (7.7 per cent), particularly of vehicles (12.98 per cent), even as street crimes such as robberies and snatching came down from the previous year.

But the Delhi Police were able to control “heinous" crimes such as dacoity, attempt to murder, robberies, rioting and rapes, which showed an overall decline of 11.72 per cent from the previous year.

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Releasing the data earlier this week, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik blamed inequalities in society for crime.“When youth living in underprivileged clusters located next to the affluent neighbourhoods see the rich people leading a comfortable life, they have ambitions of getting rich quickly. So, they are taking to street crimes like snatching and robberies," said Patnaik, while releasing the annual crime statistics for 2018.

“There is a relentless churning of youth’s ambitions, often giving rise to frustrations. The socio-economic disparities between the rich and the poor are giving rise to criminals," he said, adding that the “social structures" were “loosening" and families were losing control over youngsters.

Patnaik said figures showed an 11.32 per cent decline in use of guns in robbery but added that this was no consolation. “The porous borders and influx of criminals from neighbouring states is a problem," said the commissioner.

Source Data: Delhi Police | Text: Aditi Phadnis, media reports

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