Though the rate of crime per lakh population was the lowest ever in the Capital last year, an increase of over 3 per cent in total crime was registered compared to 2009, recording a rise in cases of robbery, snatching, motor vehicle thefts, rape and molestation.

According to statistics, snatching cases went up by almost 24 per cent from 1,289 to 1,596. Cases of robbery registered an increase of about 17 per cent to touch 567 and vehicle thefts increased by 16 per cent and stood at 13,794 cases last year till December 15 compared to 2009. There was about 6.5 per cent increase in rape cases, whereas molestation cases increased by almost 11 per cent last year. Kidnapping/abduction cases went up by 28 per cent.

However, the total Indian Penal Code (IPC) cases stood at about 275 per lakh population compared to 283 per lakh population in 2009, the lowest ever.

Sharing statistics at its annual press conference here on Thursday, Police Commissioner B. K. Gupta said worldwide crime per lakh population was considered as the most viable approach for studying the trend.

“Emphasis should be on detections, which cannot be effected unless cases are registered promptly. Once a case is registered, there is an automatic pressure on the officer concerned to solve it. Motor vehicle theft cases should specially be registered within two-three hours and efforts initiated to trace them. Mostly stolen vehicles are used to commit crimes,” he said. Last year, vehicle thefts accounted for 29 per cent of the IPC crimes.

A slight decrease was recorded in detection of heinous cases from 87.99 to 87.86 per cent. However, detection of so-called non-heinous crimes like snatching, burglary, vehicle theft, molestation and kidnapping, remained at a dismal low of 44.98 per cent and total IPC at 46.73 per cent. Overall, about 51 per cent cases could be detected.

Over 92 per cent rape and 93 per cent molestation cases were worked out last year. In rape cases, 96 per cent of the offenders were known to their victims and same was the case in 92 per cent molestation cases.

While there was decline in murder cases, data analysis revealed involvement of first timers in 93 per cent cases. Only 19 per cent murders were crime-related, 15 per cent were due to sudden provocation on trivial issues, 15 per cent passion-triggered and 13 per cent due to enmity.

All the accused in the kidnapping for ransom cases had no previous criminal record and in 87 per cent cases, the accused were known to the victim. A similar trend was noticed in snatching cases where 93 per cent offenders were first timers.

Stating that traffic management was one of the priority areas, Mr. Gupta said significant improvements had been made by the traffic police in the recent past. Increased presence at intersections, drives against various traffic rule violations and intensified checking by mobile teams had helped better the situation. While 25 per cent of the traffic police strength is now being deployed at night for regulation and enforcement, senior supervisory officers have been directed to oversee the functioning on the field.