It is official. After New Delhi, Bengaluru has the highest number of registered crimes in India. While Delhi accounts for 38.8% of total crime in the country, Bengaluru stands second with an 8.9%, according to the latest data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The latest NCRB data is ironically comforting and alarming at the same time. While police claim that people-friendly policies have resulted in more complaints being registered, the sheer number of crimes are a matter of worry for many in the city.
The increase in number of heinous crimes like murders, kidnap and crime against women, have become a topic of political discourse, with police inaction to be blamed. However, a closer look at the number of murder cases recorded during 2016, shows that acts committed with an intention of material gain are fewer than murder for personal reasons.
Emotions Over Loot
As per data, among the major cities in the country, Bengaluru records the second highest number of murder (241), second only to New Delhi (472). Compared to 2015, the city saw a 21% increase in the number of murders.
An analysis of the murders in Bengaluru, based on motives, shows that the highest number of murders were committed because of enmity. As per data, 131 murders were committed because of personal vendetta and enmity alone.
The motives for 17 murders in the city was found to be illicit relationship and 20 were a result of love affairs. Out of the 241 murders only 14 were carried out for robbing someone or stealing property.
The city also reported one case of human sacrifice. 44.8% of Bengaluru’s murder victims were between the age group of 18-30, and 35% of victims belonged to the age group of 30-45.
99.8% Criminals Were First Time Offenders
Following the incidents of child sexual abuse and including several cases in schools and other public institutions, there was a hue and cry for background checks. However, data shows that 99.8% of criminals arrested during 2016 in Karnataka were first time offenders. The 0.2% of repeat offenders arrested were convicted in the past.
A senior police officer however clarified that as per the NCRB, a repeat offender is someone who would have been convicted for crime previously. “In several cases, trials are pending, also the police tend to consider someone who has been booked in a case, rather than someone with a ‘criminal history’. So, background checks can work,” the officer said.
However, the story is different in case of juveniles. There were 21 juveniles who were convicted in the past, who came in conflict with law again. 627 juveniles were arrested in 2016 for their involvement in various crimes, out of which 606 were first time offenders.
Conviction Rates Give Hope
Bengaluru police recorded one of their best conviction rates in 2016. In the case of a finished trial during 2016, Bengaluru police managed to secure conviction in 61.6% of the cases. After Cochin, Kozhikode and Chennai, Bengaluru recorded the fourth highest conviction rate among major cities.
Across the state, the conviction rate is 51.5% among crimes under the Indian Penal Code, a stark increase from 38.6% seen in 2015. Around 89,000 cases were disposed of by various courts in 2016.
An example for this can be drawn from economic offences that include cheating, forgery and others. The city police have managed to secure only 11 convictions in the 612 cases that were disposed in the last year. Under the Anti-corruption Act, aimed at bureaucrats and politicians, the state witnessed just 27% conviction in the 261 cases that were disposed of in courts.
Second Highest in Cyber Crime
NCRB figures point out that India’s silicon valley recorded 762 cyber crimes among metropolitan cities in 2016, second only to Mumbai. A total of 19 metropolitan cities with population of more than 2 million were studied in the report. While the number of cyber crimes in Bengaluru dropped from 1,042 last year to 762 this year, it still figured among the highest rates of cyber crime in metropolitan cities. Mumbai with 980 cases topped the list.
Unlike murder, the prominent motive for cyber crime is illegal gain, followed by extortion, revenge, sexual exploitation and insulting the modesty of a woman.