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Mumbai's street crime rate drops in 2020

The police attributes this reduction in the crime rate to the strict implementation of lockdown norms and preventive actions taken against criminals. Meanwhile, it has come to light that there was a spike in the cybercrime cases in 2020.

Mumbai's street crime rate drops in 2020
(Representational Image)
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The crime rate in Mumbai had drastically gone down in the month of April and May. However, according to reports, it has come across that the crime rate had started surging in the city after the lockdown restrictions were eased. While on the face of it the numbers were higher than the previous months but year on year the crime rate had dropped in 2020. 

During the lockdown, incidents of street crime had decreased. The reason behind this is that people stayed inside their homes so criminals did not get a chance to come out. Also, there was a heavy presence of cops on the road. There were 199 checkpoints all over the city during the lockdown period, which directly affected the crime rate going down.

While the numbers show an increase in criminal cases in 2020, it has still gone down compared to 2019. As per the latest figures released by the Mumbai Police, the decline has been recorded in almost all crime heads, including murder, a crime against women, robbery, theft and so on. Only a marginal increase has been recorded in the cases of attempt to murder and that of vehicle theft.

From January 1 to December 31, 2020, the city recorded a total of 51,068 cases, which included 28,793 cases of lockdown violations. In 2019, a total of 41,931 cases were registered. If the cases of lockdown violations are exempted from the overall caseload in 2020, the city’s actual crime tally is 22,275 cases, which is a drop of 47 per cent compared to 2019.

Last year, in 2020, 148 cases of murder were recorded. While, in 2019, 165 murder cases were recorded. In 2020, 614 robberies were recorded, 374 less than that of the previous year. The biggest decline was recorded in the cases of theft, which is 2,455 less than that of a year ago. In 2020, total 3,433 theft cases were registered. In 2019, the tally was 5,888.

Moreover, the city has also seen a decline in the cases of crimes against women. Last year, a total of 4,539 cases of crime against women were recorded. Earlier, the tally was 6,438 cases. Rape cases have reduced by 248 over the previous year. In 2019, 1,015 cases of rape were registered. In 2020, the tally was 767.

Besides, the cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) have seen a downfall as well. In 2020, a total of 938 cases were registered under the Act. In 2019, the tally was 1,314.

The city police attribute this downward trend in the crime rate to the strict implementation of lockdown norms and preventive actions taken against criminals.

Meanwhile, it has come to light that there was a spike in the cybercrime cases in 2020, including new kinds of online crimes like fraudulent job listings.

According to reports, in 2020, cases of obscene messages and morphed images sent through email, messaging apps and social media increased. Compared to 239 reported cases in 2019, there were 247 cases in 2020, of which 91 were detected. In 2019, 104 of the 239 cases were detected. A marginal increase was also recorded in cases of man-in-middle (MIM) attacks, email spoofing, phishing and hacking. A sharp decline was seen in reported cases of fake online profiles — 30 in 2020 compared to 61 in 2019.

It is believed that due to the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, there was unemployment and many people lost their houses too.

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