How Did COVID Pandemic & Lockdown Impact Crime In India? Read Here

New Delhi: Can you guess how the COVID-induced prolonged lockdown impacted crime in India last year?

There was a significant rise in crime, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The latest NCRB report shows that there was a 28% increase in incidents of crime in the country in 2020 compared to what it was in 2019, the year before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

The increase has largely been attributed to crimes registered for COVID-19 violations, while the number of other crimes decreased in 2020.

The data for 2020, released on Wednesday, lists a total of 66,01,285 cognizable crimes of which 42,54,356 were for Indian Penal Code (IPC) violations and 23,46,929 under Special and Local Laws (SLL).

In 2019, the total number of recorded crimes was 51,56,158, which was 14,45,127 (28%) less than in 2020.

The crime rate (number of cases registered per 1 lakh population) has increased from 385.5 in 2019 to 487.8 in 2020.

“Major increase was seen in cases registered under Section 188 of the IPC (Disobedience to Order Duly Promulgated by Public Servant) from 29,469 cases in 2019 to 6,12,179 cases in 2020 and under ‘Other IPC Crimes’ from 2,52,268 cases in 2019 to 10,62,399 cases in 2020,” the NCRB report says.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an order last year that those violating the Centre’s guidelines on COVID-19 containment will have to be booked under Section 188 of IPC and Disaster Management Act.

Even in Special and Local Laws category, more cases were registered under ‘Other State Local Act’ it went up from 89,553 cases in 2019 to 4,14,589 in 2020.

“These together have resulted in 16,43,690 more cases registered in 2020 as compared to 2019. These cases are primarily those arising out of violations of COVID-19 norms. In effect, therefore, there is a decrease in registration of traditional crime by about two lakh cases,” the NCRB report says.

Cases registered under crimes against women, children and senior citizens, theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity declined during the period of March 25 to May 31, 2020, when complete lockdown was imposed in the country.

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