New Delhi: More than 91 per cent of crimes in Delhi in 2021 — including theft, extortion, and rape — were allegedly committed by first offenders with no past criminal record, data shared by the Delhi Police shows.
According to the data, a total of 3,06,389 crimes were reported in 2021, compared to 2,66,070 in 2020. Among these were offences of dacoity, murder, attempt to murder, robbery, rape, extortion, and theft. First offenders have been accused in instances of all such offences.
First-timers were accused in 99 per cent of rape cases, 87 per cent of snatching cases, 90 per cent of motor vehicle theft cases, and 94 percent of extortion cases. The figure is 96 per cent for dacoity, 89 per cent for burglary, and 84 per cent for attempt to murder. In cases of causing hurt, 98 percent of the accused were first-timers.
According to a source in the police, most of these accused told the police that they had taken to crime due to “prevailing circumstances.”
“There were several push-and-pull factors for them taking to crime. Many said that the prevailing circumstances of not having enough money at home, and joblessness — as many were laid off during the pandemic — had led them to take up crime. Many also fell into bad company and took to crime to make some quick money,” the source said.
According to Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana, such factors led the police to start encouraging “rehabilitation of these youths through several schemes”.
“The Delhi Police, with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, under the World Bank project ‘Sankalp’, trained 10,000 youths in 28 skills with a focus on entrepreneurship. These youths were school dropouts, first-time offenders, victims of crime, juvenile delinquents. The project is on and training is being imparted with an intention to rehabilitate the youth and channel them in the right direction,” he said.
“This is part of our proactive policing, instead of just reactive policing,” he added.
Only 1.8 per cent of heinous crimes reported
According to Delhi Police data, among the 3,06,389 crimes committed in Delhi in 2021, only 5,672 or 1.8 per cent were heinous cases, while 2,87,624 or 93.8 per cent were property-related or other cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including theft, robbery, and extortion.
“Among the crimes other than heinous, only 9,383 (3.01 per cent) cases of snatching, 2,630 (0.8 per cent) cases of burglary, and 37,910 cases (12.37 per cent) of motor vehicle theft were reported. These cases amounted to 1,52,688 (49.8 per cent),” he said.
Discussing the spike in the number of cases from 2020, Asthana said, “We have a policy of free registration of crime, which we encourage. We have recorded a 16.35 per cent increase in registration of crime this year, which is why the total number of IPC offences per lakh of the population is higher than last year,” Asthana said.
“However, cases of murder and riots have declined,” he added.
Increased conviction rate
Asthana also said that there had been a 28 per cent increase in the conviction rate from 2019 to 2020. “The conviction rate in Delhi has improved in comparison to other metro cities and the all-India average. We do not just stop at solving the crime — we ensure that convictions happen by conducting a thorough investigation based on strong evidence,” he said.
Sharing data from 2020, he said “in cases of kidnapping for ransom, the all-India conviction rate is 39 per cent, but the Delhi Police have a conviction rate of 50 per cent in these cases.
“Similarly, in cases of dacoity, Delhi has a 100 per cent conviction rate, compared to the all-India average of 29.4 per cent.”
In murder cases, Delhi has a 72.60 percent conviction rate, as opposed to the 44.1 per cent all-India average. In rape, the conviction rate stands at 47.25 percent, as opposed to a 39.3 per cent all-India average.
(Edited by Manoj Ramachandran)