Mumbai Tops Maharashtra Crime Charts
A recent report conducted on the crime rates and level of security in major cities in Maharashtra has revealed Mumbai to be on top of the Maharashtra crime charts, but not as the most dangerous city in the state. Contrary to popular belief, crime rates are calculated per lakh people of any population, leaving the distinction of this award to Nagpur whose crime rate is 407 instances per crime per lakh population. Don't worry though, Mumbai is only second on the list with 340, followed by Thane at 299. Navi Mumbai is at a brisk 280, while Pune is way down the pecking order at 267.
For the period 2011-15, for which crime data was released by the state CID, Mumbai recorded 1.8 lakh instances of crime, followed by Pune (67,609), Thane (60,859), Nagpur (47,143), and Navi Mumbai (28,098). To put into context, the population of these cities are 1.26 crore, 57 lakh, 51 lakh, 27 lakh and 21 lakh respectively.
Year-on-year crime rates have been increasing in Mumbai at approximately 6%. These crimes include common misdemeanors along with rape, molestation, counterfeiting, theft, kidnapping, and other legal infractions. However, it should be mentioned that the same study has indicated in a decline in the rate of violent crimes like murder, robbery and dacoity. While the decline in violent crime rates is a happy notion, one must give the statistic some more attention to truly understand it.
To quote another narrative on the subject, Maharashtra's Additional Director-General of Police (CID), Sanjay Kumar says, "A decline in crime may be a reflection of fewer complaints being registered. If there is no correlation with crime, there is something wrong. For example, a rise in crime often is a reflection that more victims are coming forward to register FIRs." It is fair to assume a reduction in FIR's being lodged would indicate a reduction in the frequency of a particular crime, but a marginal decline on a large base indicates very poor progress. This would in turn negate the positive sentiment surrounding the decreasing rate of serious crimes.
Praja Project Director, Milind Muske adding in by saying that the conviction rates remaining low is a result of poor coordination between the investigative and prosecutorial agencies. "Abroad, the investigating agency works in tandem with the public prosecutor, which helps in building a watertight case. The other factor is delaying the filing of charge-sheet, which takes a mental toll on the victim, and often victims go hostile when cases come up for hearing." By calling on Investigators and Prosecutors to engage more efficiently and step up their game, Muske mimics the cries of thousands of Mumbaikars alike, who just want a safer city to live in.