Murders, rapes, cyber crime: How Covid affected the crime graph in 2020

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NEW DELHI: The year 2020 saw disruptions in normal life and lockdown for a couple of months due to the onset of Covid-19 pandemic in the country. However, this seems to have had little impact on the number of crimes that were committed in the year.
According to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on 'Crime in India – 2020', a total of 66,01,285 cognizable crimes comprising 42,54,356 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 23,46,929 Special and Local Laws (SLL) crimes were registered in 2020.
This is an increase of 14,45,127 (28 per cent) in registration of cases over 2019 (51,56,158 cases), while the crime rate registered per lakh population increased from 385.5 in 2019 to 487.8 in 2020.
NCRB is responsible for collecting and analyzing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code and special and local laws in the country.
Here are some of the highlights from the report:
Drop in traditional crimes, jump in disobedience against govt
The NCRB data shows that the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown resulted in a drop in traditional crimes like theft, robbery, and assault on women and children in 2020. However, there was a drastic jump in disobedience to government orders, primarily arising due to violations of Covid-19 norms.
Major increase was seen in the cases registered under 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.
During 2020, registration of cases under IPC (Indian Penal Code) increased by 31.9 per cent whereas SLL (Special and Local Laws) crimes rose by 21.6 per cent over 2019.
Percentage share of IPC cases was 64.4 per cent while that of SLL cases was 35.6 per cent of total cognisable crimes during 2020.
Murder and motive
India reported an average 80 murders daily in 2020, totalling 29,193 fatalities over the year, with Uttar Pradesh topping the chart among the states.
This was a marginal increase of 1 per cent over 2019 (28,915 cases).
Among states, the maximum 3,779 murder cases in 2020 were lodged in Uttar Pradesh followed by Bihar (3,150), Maharashtra (2,163), Madhya Pradesh (2,101) and West Bengal (1,948).
‘Disputes' (10,404 cases) was the motive in the maximum cases followed by 'personal vendetta or enmity' (4,034 cases) and 'gain' (1,876 cases).
Crime against women
A total of 3,71,503 cases of crime against women were registered during 2020, showing a decline of 8.3 per cent over 2019 (4,05,326 cases).
Majority of crimes against women under IPC were registered under 'cruelty by husband or his relatives' (30 per cent) followed by 'assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty' (23 per cent), 'kidnapping and abduction of women' (16.8 per cent) and 'rape' (7.5 per cent).
Rape cases
Nearly 77 rape cases were reported across India on an average every day in 2020, totalling to 28,046 such incidents during the year. Of the total cases of crimes against women (3,71,503) in 2020, there were 28,046 incidents of rape involving 28,153 victims.
Out of the total victims, 25,498 were adults, while 2,655 were below the age of 18 years, it stated .
The number of rape cases, as defined in Indian Penal Code section 376, stood at 32,033 in 2019, 33,356 in 2018 and 32,559 in 2017. The figure for 2016 was 38,947
Among states and Union Territories, the maximum 5,310 rape cases were lodged in Rajasthan in 2020 followed by Uttar Pradesh (2,769), Madhya Pradesh (2,339), Maharashtra (2,061) and Assam (1,657). National capital Delhi logged 997 such cases during the year.
Crime against children
A total of 1,28,531 cases of crime against children were registered during 2020, showing a decrease of 13.2 per cent over 2019 (1,48,090 cases).
In percentage terms, major crime heads under 'crime against children' during 2020 were kidnapping and abduction (42.6 per cent) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (38.8 per cent) including child rape.
Kidnapping and abduction
Cases of kidnapping and abduction went down by over 19 per cent in 2020 as compared to 2019.
There were a total 84,805 lodged cases of kidnapping and abduction in 2020 as against 1,05,036 in 2019.
Among states, the maximum 12,913 kidnapping and abductions cases in 2020 were lodged in Uttar Pradesh followed by West Bengal (9,309), Maharashtra (8,103), Bihar (7,889) and Madhya Pradesh (7,320).
Delhi registered 4,062 kidnapping and abduction cases during 2020.
Banking fraud
The year saw 4,047 cases of online banking fraud, 1,093 OTP frauds and 1,194 credit/debit card fraud, while 2,160 cases related to ATM were reported in 2020
11.8% rise in cyber crime
India recorded 50,035 cases of cyber crime in 2020, with a 11.8 per cent surge in such offences over the previous year. The rate of cyber crime (incidents per lakh population) also increased from 3.3 per cent in 2019 to 3.7 per cent in 2020 in the country. In 2019, the country recorded 44,735 cases of cyber crime, while the figures stood at 27,248 in 2018, the data from corresponding years showed.
Motives for cyber crime
The NCRB data reveals that the maximum 60.2 per cent of cyber crimes lodged in 2020 were done for fraud (30,142 out of 50,035 cases). It was followed by sexual exploitation with 6.6 per cent (3,293 cases) and extortion 4.9 per cent (2,440 cases).
Cyber crimes: UP on top
Among states, the maximum 11,097 cyber crime cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh followed by Karnataka (10,741), Maharashtra (5,496), Telangana (5,024) and Assam (3,530)
Offences affecting human body
A total of 10,47,216 cases of offences affecting the human body were registered which accounted for 24.6 per cent of the total IPC crimes during 2020, of which hurt (5,78,641 cases) accounted for the maximum cases -- 55.3 per cent -- followed by cases of causing death by negligence (1,26,779 or 12.1 per cent) and cases of assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty (85,392 or 8.2 per cent).
The cases registered under offences against human body depict a marginal decrease of 0.5 per cent in 2020 over 2019 (10,52,016 cases) and the crime rate has declined from 78.6 in 2019 to 77.4 in 2020.
(With inputs from agencies)


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