Mumbai: The lockdown was imposed in the city to contain the spread of coronavirus, how much the restrictions actually helped could be a topic of debate looking at the number of positive cases in the city. However, the same lockdown has surely helped reduce the city's crime against women and the overall crime rate as well.
The crime against women declined 83 per cent as compared to last year while the overall crime rate came down to 50 per cent. This decrease is been attributed to restriction of movement and also heavy police presence in the city.
If we look at the statistics this decrease could be clearly seen. Last year during the three-month period from March to May, the city witnessed 1622 offences of crime against women; the same was reduced to 679 this year, a decline of 58 per cent.
Last year for the three months period, the city witnessed 234 rape cases while this year the figure has come down to 109.
There is a considerable decline in the number of sexual offences against children as well. Last year during the March-May period, 285 cases were registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, during the same period this year the cases reduced to 142.
Last year, the city saw 173 offences of dowry-related harassment and cases of domestic violence while this year only 40 offences were registered during the lockdown.
"It's the crime registration rate is reduced, but we can't say that crime against women, mostly the cases of domestic violence, have decreased. Due to lockdown, women are locked inside their home along with their husbands, as a reason they are unable to report to the police station. What we have also seen that even the police also not ready to register offences that easily these days saying they are busy in lockdown duties and asked the women to come after lockdown. This is also a major reason why the figures are showing less," said senior advocate Abha Singh.
In the last three months from March to May, Mumbai witnessed 4720 offences while 7175 cases were registered for the lockdown-related violations. Last year for the same period, the city witnessed 9361 offences which is a decline of almost 50 per cent.
"As there was a heavy police presence on the roads 24x7, criminals did not get a chance to come out. During the lockdown period, we have placed around 200 checkpoints in the city, which have certainly helped as well," said DCP Pranay Ashok, Mumbai police PRO.