Unemployment root cause of property crimes

Kathmandu, August 6

Kathmandu Valley is plagued with crimes not only because the police department lacks adequate resources, but also due to rising unemployment, a study shows.

The Valley recorded as many as 5,924 incidents of crime in the last fiscal. Of the 7,981 suspects arrested in connection with crimes registered during the last fiscal, 5,182 persons were unemployed. Likewise, 2,206 of them were daily wage earners, 372 farmers and 27 employees.

A data analysis published by Metropolitan Police Office shows there is an urgent need to address the problem of unemployment, especially among youth, in the Valley. A majority of perpetrators (4,485) were unemployed youths aged 16 to 35 years, 1,725 aged 36 to 45 years, 987 aged 46 to 60 years, 271 aged above 60 years, and 121 aged below 16 years. This indicates that unemployment is the root cause of property crimes.

The youths between 16 and 35 years constituted 59 per cent of the perpetrators. The study also shows that 96 per cent of the suspects were male. Though social and organised crimes and burglaries show a downward trend over the period of last three fiscals, police seem to have failed to curb other crimes, including rape, murder, human trafficking, suicide, child molestation, drug smuggling and vehicular homicide.

When there is no employment for legal earnings, youths are more likely to resort to crime to pay the high cost of living and meet their basic needs in urban areas regardless of its consequences, according to the study.

The most common crimes committed by unemployed youths are burglary, robbery, fraud and drug peddling which earn them instant money.

Acting Police Commissioner DIG Bam Bahadur Bhandari informed that they were planning to launch awareness-raising campaigns with major focus on unemployed youths to discourage them from committing crimes.

In Nepal, unemployment rate stands at a mere 3.6 per cent. But another 10.8 per cent of people of working age group, who are economically active, are unemployed. Similarly, 3.7 per cent of the economically active population of working age are performing jobs that do not match their skills and another 2.8 per cent are earning less as compared to their skills, shows the latest Annual Household Survey, 2015 conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics.