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Declining heinous crime rates in Delhi but at the same time raised 6% theft cases

Amulya Patnaik, Delhi Police commissioner has argued that his force was able to control the “heinous” crimes such as dacoity, attempt to murder, robberies, rioting and rapes, which showed an overall decline of 11.72% compared to the previous year.

National Capital (Delhi) has been developing at a rapid pace, rapid urbanization has led to certain determinants which have a bearing on the crime rates in the city. The large expansion of new colonies like Dwarka, Rohini etc.. and mushrooming of numerous unplanned colonies are significant criminogenic determinants which have a direct impact on crime, particularly the theft, street crimes for instance, robberies and snatchings. Delhi Police has been closely monitoring the ever-changing methodology being adopted by criminals and has been constantly adapting itself to meet new challenges.

Crime Statistics In Delhi

CRIME HEAD 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2017




DACOITY 33 28 33 82 75 46 36 35 23
MURDER 543 521 517 586 570 528 487 448 459
ATT. TO MURDER 386 439 585 770 770 646 645 583 494
ROBBERY 562 608 1245 6464 7407 4761 3147 2763 2210
RIOT 50 79 113 160 130 79 50 50 23
KID. FOR RANSOM 25 21 30 38 36 23 16 14 19
RAPE 572 706 1636 2166 2199 2155 2146 1979 1983
TOTAL HEINOUS 2171 2402 4159 10266 11187 8238 6527 5872 5211
SNATCHING 1476 1440 3638 7350 9896 9571 8231 7885 6366
HURT 1946 1747 1768 2077 1898 1489 1352 1243 1409
BURGLARY 1419 1715 2835 10309 12848 14307 9819 9261 3742
M.V.THEFT 14668 14391 14916 23384 32729 38644 40972 37180 42192
HOUSE THEFT 1918 1746 3216 12735 15318 14721 10739 10186 3481
OTHER THEFT 6313 5895 11992 42634 56385 77563 114054 102924 122712
M. O. WOMEN 657 727 3515 4322 5367 4165 3422 3146 3066
OTHER KID./ABD 3767 3849 6294 7105 7694 6596 6079 5745 5608
FATAL ACCIDENT 2047 1822 1778 1629 1582 1548 1565 1400 1447
SIMPLE ACCIDENT 5233 5115 5788 6994 6503 5827 5108 4736 4529
OTHER IPC 117738 13338 20285 26849 29970 26850 25712 23576 25360
TOTAL NON HEINOUS 51182 51885 76025 145388 180190 201281 227053 207282 219912
TOTAL IPC 53353 54287 80184 155654 191377 209519 233580 213154 225123

Fig: Crime Statistics from 2011 to 2018 (upto 30.11.2018).

According to Delhi Police's annual press report released on Jan 09, 2018, A total of 2,36,476 cases of crime were reported in the National Capital (Delhi) in 2018, up from 2,23,077 in 2017 - a 6% rise. Meanwhile, Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik on January 09, 2019, blamed the “migrant population” and the “ambitions” and “frustrations” of youngsters as the reason for the 6% increase in the annual crime rate in 2018 compared to 2017. As per the data in the recent report, fewer crimes of serious nature took place in 2018 as compared to the previous year. It shows that 36 dacoities took place in 2017, which came down to 13 in 2018. Similarly, 615 attempt to murder cases were filed in 2017, which were 515 in 2018.

Comparatively, Dacoities was reduced by 20%, Murder by 7.78%, Attempt to Murder by 0.16%, Robbery by 38.21%, Riot by 36.71%, Kidnapping for ransom by 36.36% and Rape by 0.73% in year 2017. Even the incidents of snatching and burglaries have come down. Further, 1,289 cases were registered under the provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) during the year as against 1,243 in 2017 per lakh population. The national capital mentioned nearly 40% of rape cases and nearly 29% of each of cruelty by husband and his relatives and dowry deaths, it recorded the highest crime rate (182.1) compared to the national average of 77.2, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data 2017.

Moreover, The robbery cases were 2,889 in 2017 and 2,307 in 2018; riots cases were 50 in 2017 which lowered to 23 in 2018; and 2,059 rape cases were registered in 2017 which came down to 2,043 in 2018. However, the number of cases of murder and kidnapping for ransom saw a little rise. As against 462 murder cases in 2017, while 477 such cases were reported in 2018. The number of kidnapping for ransom cases were 14 in 2017 which increased to 19 in 2018.

The yardstick of crime per lakh of population, which is used worldwide to compare crime rate, has been applied, the 2018 Delhi Police's report revealed. While the Highest number of cases at 35.6 % (2,368 cases out of 6,645) of juveniles in conflict with law were reported in Delhi among the 19 cities during 2016. Meanwhile, Delhi Police Commissioner 'Amulya Patnaik' has said that, "Number of crimes in the National Capital under all major heads have shown a declining trend except 3.25% increase in murder cases and 36% rise in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, reflecting fairness of registration of such offences."

The total number of heinous crimes reported in 2017 was 6,125, which stood at 5,407 for 2018, the report showed. The Delhi Police, however, arrested 168 rewarded criminals with bounties between Rs 5,000 to Rs 15 lakh. Total 15 criminals were arrested under Maharastra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA) in 2018 as compare to 11 in 2017.

Crime Against Women

Crime Head 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2017




RAPE(376 IPC) 706 1636 2166 2199 2155 2146 1979 1983
ASSAULT ON WOMEN WITH INTENT TO OUTRAGE HER MODESTY (354 IPC) 727 3515 4322 5367 4165 3422 3146 3066
INSULT TO THE MODESTY OF WOMEN (509 IPC) 214 916 1361 1492 918 640 593 556
KIDNAPPING OF WOMEN 2048 3286 3604 3738 3445 3439 3250 3214
ABDUCTION OF WOMEN 162 323 423 556 444 322 305 248
498-A/406 IPC (CRUELTY BY HUSBAND AND IN LAWS) 2046 3045 3194 3536 3877 2745 2607 2914
DOWRY DEATH (304B) 134 144 153 122 162 120 118 138
DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT 15 15 13 20 18 11 11 15

Crime Against Women from 2015 to 2018 (upto 30.11.2018).

Delhi Police faces the menace of ensuring women safety in an adverse socio-economic backdrop. However, proactive initiatives have contributed towards a reduction in crime against women. Crime against Women has shown a healthy downward trend today. Followed by the Couple of years, the figures pertaining to Informing the Civic Agencies about dark patches in the national capital and directing BPOs to ensure safety of lady employees while dropping them back to their respective residences, have also helped in curbing crime against women.

Stressing the need for people to “feel” safer in Delhi, the commissioner said an “elaborate public perception survey” is to be carried out this year to help the police gauge the “needs and expectations” of the people.
Significantly, The dynamic and scientific strategy to control crime has led to decrease in heinous crimes. Constant efforts through the last several years have resulted in a sharp decline in heinous crime percentage of registration to the Total IPC from 5.85% in 2015, 3.93% in 2016, 2.72% in 2017 and the total number of heinous crimes reported in 2017 was 6,125, which stood at 5,407 for 2018, the recent report data showed..

Some of the major determinants impacting crime in Delhi are:

# The size and heterogeneous nature of its population;
# Disparities in income, unemployment and under employment;
# Consumerism/materialism and socio-economic imbalances;
# Unplanned urbanization with a substantial population living in jhuggi-jhopri-kachchi colonies etc. and the nagging lack of civic amenities therein ;
# Proximity in location of colonies of the affluent and the under-privileged;
# Impact of the mass media and the umpteen advertisements which sell a life-style that many want but cannot afford;
# A fast-paced life that breeds a general proclivity towards impatience, intolerance and high-handedness;
# Urban anonymity and slack family control;
# Easy accessibility/means of escape to criminal elements from across the borders and Extended hinterland in the NCR region etc..
# Citing reasons for increase in the number of crimes, Amulya Patnaik has argued that, mandatory registration of FIRs, including those for missing children, as per directions of the hon'ble supreme court. "Besides, the Delhi # Police also launched mobile and web applications through which public can easily lodge FIRs online for theft of motor vehicles and other such properties without visiting police stations." This was implemented to ensure a hassle free reporting mechanism to the public. Crime in Delhi under all the major heads of crime have shown a declining trend except 6% increase in MV theft cases and 47% increase in other theft cases, clearly reflecting fair registration of such offences.

Strategy to Control Crime Rates

Prevention of crime particularly the street crime remained one of the top most priority:
# Crime mapping and identification of hot spots;
# Dynamic deployment with focus on identified areas;
# Identification of active criminals;
# Arrest of notorious criminals;
# Preparation of compendium of top criminals, which is updated regularly;
# Increased visibility of police on streets;
# Group patrolling by District DCsP/Addl.DCsP;
# Integrated patrolling by local police, PCR staff and Traffic police;
# Regular checking of two wheelers by local police, and also joint checking with Traffic and PCR;
# Action against drinking in public places;
# Action against organized crime;
# Citizen-centric policing through Jan Sampark and other community approach programmes;
# Breaking the supply routes of Fire Arms in Delhi.. ("Crime In Delhi, R.P. Upadhyaya".)

It has been the constant endeavour of Delhi Police to maintain peace and tranquillity in the city. Delhi Police has taken a conscious decision to ensure fair and truthful registration of crime and it has helped in devising proper strategies to tackle crime, in organizing resources as per ground requirement and in ensuring better service-delivery to the citizens. We need to use campaigns and technology to reach every child and family in these cities.

Also, We need to develop modern tools to make sure that everybody feels important and cared for through parenting interventions, family interventions, wellbeing campaigns, and early childhood education etc.. Populations are overflowing in the country, crime is high. The main focus needs to be on preventing the conditions that draw people into violent or criminal behaviour. In order to do the same we need a Modern-Technological, systematic, integrated, coordinated approach combining the accountabilities and responsibilities of a wide range of state and non-state actors.

Here is the some path breaking initiative of Delhi Police
Police Mitra, This scheme is arrived at involving civil society in crime prevention and maintenance of law & order. The major goal is to gain effective policing with active involvement of local citizens. It can assist the local police in picket duties, traffic management, collection of intelligence etc.. Nigehban, Under this scheme, Delhi Police has surveyed all important locations of the city and drawn a list of sensitive areas which require CCTV monitoring. Individuals, RWAs and MWAs have been requested to install the same at identified spots by pooling their resources. Nirbheek, While a number of modes are available with general public to seek help from the police in cases of sexual harassment, an urgent need was felt to create a specialized forum for the victims in school/ college going age group to effectively report such crimes etc..

Go-to-School Initiative, This is an outreach programme for school children, with an objective to sensitize them about road safety education as also on how to stay safe against cyber crime when online. Through this programme, Delhi Police wants to build bridges with the future citizens and give a boost to preventive community policing. Yuva: Engaging Youth in Skill Development, A special Community Policing Scheme ‘YUVA’ has been launched by Delhi Police, keeping in mind the problems of the youth in Delhi. YUVA aims to wean away young adults and underprivileged children, who, for want of proper education and sports facilities, tend to take to crime.

E-MV Theft App, Earlier, the manual process of reporting MV theft includes reporting to police getting an FIR registered, final police report and claiming insurance, which was time consuming and cumbersome. Further, the huge number of vehicle theft cases had made surveillance and linking of stolen vehicles by manual means a formidable task. It was in this backdrop that Delhi Police launched the web-based MV theft registration application. It was the path breaking initiative of Delhi Police to empower a citizen wherein one could file a motor vehicle theft FIR from home through computer or mobile phone.

Lost Report App, The purpose of this App is to issue a report to an individual in case of loss of important document like passport, I-card, Ration Card, Driving License etc. By entering relevant details on this mobile/web based App, one can lodge a lost report instantly and obtain a printable digitally signed report of the same and use this document for getting a fresh document re-issued from the concerned authority.

Himmat App, The Himmat SOS App for women was launched in the year 2015 by the Hon’ble Home Minister of India. Himmat is an emergency service, consisting of a smart phone emergency application, which can send a distress call or emergency message to Delhi Police officials and specified contact or group in an emergency situation faced by a woman.

Delhi Police has taken a number of digital initiatives in keeping with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s directives regarding SMART policing. Technological upgradation has been given top priority, and in order to achieve the desired technological advancement to keep pace with the trends across the globe, Delhi Police has inducted a Chief Technology Officer. With the security scenario in the country getting increasingly sensitive, all metropolitan cities need to gear up their anti-terror preparedness. Being the National Capital, Delhi is constantly on the radar of anti-national outfits, and the need for high anti-terror alert can hardly be over-emphasized. Delhi Police, over the years, has taken a number of anti-terror measures, which include intensive verification of tenants, checking of second-hand car dealers and cyber cafe’s, checking of guest houses, periodic surprise checking to prevent high-speed escape and higher police visibility with deterrent posturing in high footfall areas. The Special Cell of Delhi Police is constantly on the alert in collecting, collating and disseminating anti-terror intelligence apart from launching its anti-terror operations.

(Author, Trilok Singh, Postgraduate in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. A renounced young Scholar-Professional and CEO at Youth Darpan Media and the IAS mind).

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