Sunday, December 25, 2005

Crime -Up - Up

Crime -Up - Up
Deccan Herald

Bangalore streets are turning meaner. On the one hand, youngsters are getting attracted to crime. On the other hand, violent crimes like murder are increasing. While organised crime seems to be coming under control, anti-social behaviour and hooliganism have made unwelcome appearances this year.

The city’s crime scene has been largely dominated by “crimes against property” like theft, burglary, dacoity, mugging and vehicle lifting. Violent crime is making a presence too. The widening gap of the haves and the have-nots has also contributed to the increase in crime, the police say.

Gang wars have come as a blessing in disguise for the police this year, with some notorious gangsters eliminating members of each other’s gangs. While some of them were killed in police encounters, a few others were nabbed.

Meanwhile, the criminal justice system is getting overburdened and turning unresponsive to the concerns of Bangaloreans. It has also paralysed the efficiency of the police. While the number of police stations remain at 87, the police force itself is reeling under a shortage of staff. While the police stations are wearing a corporate look, thanks to private sponsorship, no efforts have been made to modernise the force itself. Ironically, many policemen still patrol the streets on bicycles and are expected to scare away criminals with their lathis.

As 2005 comes to a close, Deccan Herald bares the ugly side of Bangalore.

The graph keeps moving upwards

Crime 2003 2004 2005*

Reported Detected Reported Detected Reported Detected

Murder 203 168 198 150 203 171

Murder for gain 14 07 16 7 11 10

Dacoity 46 38 37 22 33 16

Robbery 172 113 268 68 373 203

Chain snatching 139 96 187 30 185 126

Thefts** 6,154 1,894 6,910 1,577 5,885 1,681

Vehicle thefts 2,682 1,279 3,205 434 3,461 639

Cheating 1,780 1,642 1,534 1,305 1,474 1,285

Counterfeiting 87 58 22 14 83 36

Rioting 273 247 319 204 329 159

Kidnapping 132 126 175 145 128 104

* Records up to Nov 31 ** Thefts include house breakings and cattle thefts.

Missed Calls

The cellphone may have shrunk your world, but for petty

criminals, these gadgets have expanded their realm of business. Easy to snatch and easier to sell off, these cellphones have become a thief’s favourite. The recoveries have been minimal, for SIM cards are

disposed off soon after the theft, making it impossible to trace them.

More than police laxity, it is the user’s own negligence to blame.

Often, the cellphones are snatched while the user is using it while

walking or riding. The thefts are

easier to commit when the user is messaging, as the user’s entire focus is on the mobile screen. Women who opt for lonely corners to call are easy preys, according to the police.

Wads of money, Whisky and Women

What drives youth to take to crime? If you go by police records, it is good food, fashionable clothes, a strong drink and sex. Most confessed that they committed crime to get money and live a ‘good’ life. In the past three years, the city police have arrested nearly 5,000 people in the age group of 17 to 25 years for indulging in crime. A majority of them belong to middle-class families.


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