Crime rate plummets during lockdown

Kathmandu, April 12

Criminal activities have decreased drastically in Kathmandu Valley in the last 20 days due to the government-imposed nationwide lockdown from March 24.

A comparative data of 10 days from March 14 to March 23 (before the beginning of the lockdown) and the last 20 days of lockdown shows that crime rate has decreased by 86 per cent during the lockdown.

A study conducted by THT includes 12 types of crimes — rape, murder, attempt to murder, drug abuse and trafficking, cyber crimes, theft, social offence, banking offence, black marketing, swindling, vehicular accidents and kidnapping.

Kathmandu valley had seen a total of 10 rapes in 10 days just before the lockdown, while there were only three reported cases of rape during the 20- day lockdown period. There was no record of murder during the lockdown while three murders were recorded in the 10-day time-frame prior to the lockdown.

Similarly, only five cases of cyber crime and one theft case were recorded in 20 days of lockdown compared to 18 cases of cyber crime and twenty cases of theft registered in the 10 days prior to the lockdown. One person was arrested on the charge of social offence during the lockdown while the number was 59 in the 10 days before the lockdown. The study does not include lockdown violators.

Suicide rate, however, remained static during this period. Nepal police record shows that normally one person commits suicide in Kathmandu Valley in a day. During the 20 days lockdown, 18 persons committed suicide while 13 had committed suicide in the 10 days prior to the lockdown.

The number of accidental deaths such as drowning, falling and catching fire have also remained almost similar. A total of 45 people had met accidental deaths in the 20 days of lockdown, while 24 people faced unnatural death in the ten days before the lockdown.

SSP Shyam Lal Gyawali, spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Commissioner Office, Ranipokhari, said the crime rate declined during the lockdown as people were shut inside their houses. “Restaurants and eateries have been shut down and night life in the city has come to a halt, which has also contributed to decline in the crime rate. Alcohol and drug abuse are the most common causes of violence in the city,” he added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 13, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.