Strict lockdown restrictions have paid dividends in terms of restricting crime rate in Haryana sharply as compared to pre-lockdown period since March 24, 2020. With drastically reduced scope of movement in all places an unprecedented fall under most heads of crime was witnessed in the state during April 2020.
According to Director General of Police (DGP), Haryana, Manoj Yadava, the overall crime went down by more than 50 percent during April 2020 as compared to corresponding period last year. The number of murder cases fell to 49 as compared to 94 in the month of April 2019. The cases of causing simple and grievous hurt have also declined by 32.6 percent. As compared to 221 cases in April 2019, the number fell to 149 this time.
The cases of kidnapping/abduction of boys and men went down to just 7 cases in April 2020 as compared to 44 cases in April 2019, a fall of 84 per cent. Further, there was a massive fall of 740 cases (76.7%) in cases of wrongful confinement of persons which went down from 965 in April 2019 to 225 in April 2020. Similarly, there was a 47 percent fall in cases of criminal trespass during the month of April 2020 as compared to the last year.
Similarly, as far as the crime against property is concerned, there has been a 35 per cent decline in the number of burglary cases in April 2020 as only 358 cases were registered as compared to 556 cases in April 2019. However, the fall in cases of theft was even more pronounced as number of theft cases went down from 1961 in April 2019 to just 355 in April 2020. The resultant fall of 1606 cases (82%) is unprecedented. The cases of Motor Vehicle theft which stood at 1424 in April 2019 came down to just 217 in April 2020.
Interestingly, certain heads of crime did not follow the declining trend.
For example, the cases of unlawful assembly went up in the same period from 151 to 159 which is a result of the cases registered by police for violation of prohibitory orders issued by various District Magistrates under section 144 of CrPC. There was a sharp spike in cases registered under section 188 of IPC (willful violation of lawful orders) as police registered 2681 cases against various individuals for violating the prohibitory orders issued under the Disaster Management Act and Haryana Epidemic Regulation 2020 in a bid to enforce the lockdown. The number of cases went up from just 26 in April 2019 to 2681 in April 2020.
However, the cases of attempt to murder remained more or less the same with 62 cases registered in April 2020 as compared to 64 in April 2019. The cases of dowry deaths also went down just by 2 cases, from 24 to 22 during the same period. The cases of fraud also did not suffer much decline as 287 cases were registered in April 2020 as compared to 293 cases in April 2019.
Observing that the decline in serious crime was a temporary phenomenon as it happened in extraordinary lockdown circumstances, the DGP warned the public that there would be a spurt in the crime as and when the lockdown is withdrawn.
Orders are being issued to all the police units to exercise lot of caution in this regard. An advisory will also be issued to all citizens to exercise maximum prudence and precautions to avoid being a victim of crime as and when the lockdown is withdrawn, he added.