Valley’s crime rate soars with the easing of lockdown restrictionsPolice data show after the lockdown was relaxed on June 10 crime rate has risen by more than 80 percent.
Crime rate in Kathmandu Valley has gone up ever since the government relaxed the lockdown restrictions on June 10. The government had enforced a nationwide lockdown ease on March 24 to curb the spread of Covid-19.
During nearly three months of strict lockdown, the Valley’s crime rate had gone down significantly. But no sooner the lockdown was relaxed than incidents of crime started increasing.
Data provided by the Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, show that after the easing of the lockdown restrictions, the Valley’s crime rate rose by more than 80 percent compared to one month prior.
The Valley recorded 517 crime cases between June 15 to July 15; only 280 crimes were reported between May 14 and June 14.
The data also show that a month after the lockdown was relaxed the number of crime against women and children, including rape, rose from 20 to 49, social crimes from 3 to 63 while organised and financial crimes jumped from 22 to 38.
Similarly, theft cases increased to 57 from 20 and cases related to murder and attempted murder rosed to 89 from 79 in one month.
Incidents of suicide also increased from 51 to 73 while the number of road accidents also soared from 79 to 89.
SSP Sushil Kumar Yadav, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, said with the rise in movement of people and opening of shops and businesses, crime cases have also increased.
“Unemployment created by the coronavirus pandemic may have also contributed to the rise in crimes like theft, robbery and abduction,” said Yadav.
On Friday, an unidentified gang abducted Rambabu Shah, a resident of Tokha Municipality in Kathmandu, and demanded Rs 2.5 million from his son for his release.
A special squad from the Metropolitan Crime Division rescued Shah later in the day from Lokanthali, Bhaktapur.
“We have arrested seven people in connection to the incident. Preliminary investigation suggests that Shah was abducted because he owed Rs 2.5 million to a person after a land transaction,” said SP Ishwar Karki, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Crime Division.
Authorities anticipate a rise in crime cases in the days to come. They say with the economic slowdown and unemployment created by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a high chance of crime rate going up.
The pandemic has also led to the release of many convicted criminals imprisoned across the country. Police say there is a risk of many former convicts going back to their criminal ways.
A total of 409 prisoners were freed from various overcrowded prisons across the country following a Supreme Court order in view of the pandemic.