Special Correspondent

Decline in heinous crimes in 2009, says Sheila

Comparing first five months of 2008 & 2009, chain snatching cases increased from 250 to 318

Vehicle theft that increased from 3,938 to 4,362

NEW DELHI: Contrary to the popular perception created by the rise in street crimes in the Capital, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit informed the Delhi Assembly on Thursday that there has been a 9.43 per cent decline in heinous crime in the city and a 3.4 per cent decline in non-heinous IPC crime in the first five months of 2009 compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

Speaking during Question Hour, the Chief Minister said while overall IPC crime declined by 3.6 per cent during the period and the number of murders came down from 229 to 214 and dacoities from ten to eight, there was an increase in cases of chain snatching that went up from 250 to 318 and of vehicle theft that increased from 3,938 to 4,362.

Generally, Ms. Dikshit said, “an atmosphere is creased in which people feel insecure”.

Accusing the media of playing a role in this, she said when a murder takes place it is shown so many times on television that people get the impression that crime is rampant in Delhi.

However, she emphasised the need for speedy disposal of cases.

On the issue of control of the Government and legislators over the Delhi police, Ms. Dikshit said the Lieutenant-Governor takes the review meeting on law and order while the legislators head the Thana Committees in their respective constituencies. She informed that this year 180 meetings of these Thana Committees had been convened. As per the rules, a meeting of the committee should be held every month and as such in the 70 Delhi Assembly segments about 350 meetings should have been held till May-end.

The Chief Minister also clarified that her Government was not asking the Centre to place the Delhi police under it. “We have suggested to the Centre what should happen to it and we hope the Union Home Ministry would take action commensurate with what we have suggested.”

Ms. Dikshit said since this was the age of specialisations, she had asked that the Delhi police be divided or departmentalised. “Traffic, law and order, licensing and security are all specialised areas and they should all be separated from the other. People in one department should be made to specialise in that area and not be shifted to the other. Security is also a very sensitive area and concerns the integrity of the country as well,” she added.