MUMBAI: The Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown led to a welcome change in Maharashtra: the crime rate went down in 2020 compared to 2019, says government data.
However, state home minister Anil Deshmukh has credited better law and order situation in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s first year in power for the dip in heinous crimes.
In 2020, over 26,700 criminal cases, including rape, were recorded whereas the count was 37,112 in 2019 and 35,501 in 2018.
The data revealed the highest number of rape cases 5,416, in 2019 and 4,947 in 2018. Last year, such cases went down to 3,970.
The recorded kidnapping cases were 6,825 in 2018 and 6,906 in 2019 but in 2020 it came down to 5,327.
Deshmukh said the dip in crime rate in 2020 showed the Aghadi government was determined to check crime and had taken swift action against criminals. Higher crime rates in 2019 and 2018 showed the then BJP government had been unable to check the trend, he added.
“As per the National Crime Record Bureau, the conviction rate has increased by 13% in Maharashtra. In rape cases, the state is at 22nd spot while in murder cases, it is ranked 25th and in crime against women, the state stood at number 13 in the all-India table. The law and order has improved during our government,” the home minister said.
However, home department officials attributed the reason for less crime in 2020 to the fact that during the lockdown and pandemic situation, fewer people came out from their homes, resulting in a decline in certain crimes.
“Health was a major concern for everyone. Anyway, a dip in crime is a positive sign. We need to keep up our vigil on law and order front,” said an official.