Araga: Spike in crime rate despite economic growth

The home minister also concurred with Congress MLA from Hanur, R Narendra’s views on the low rate of conviction.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. (File photo)
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra. (File photo)

BENGALURU:  One would believe that as education and financial status improved, crime would decline. However, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said in the state Assembly on Thursday that the state was witnessing an increase in crime rate even as the education and economic conditions of the people were improving. 

“It is unfortunate that as and when people are getting educated and their financial condition improves, the number of crimes are also increasing,” he said while expressing concern. Assembly Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, too agreed, saying crimes are increasing with improvement in education. 

The Home Department data shows the number of crimes, especially those registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC), went up by 14,000 every year in the last three years, while the increase was around 4,000 in cases registered under Special Local Laws (SLL) and Cyber Crimes. 

The home minister also concurred with Congress MLA from Hanur, R Narendra’s views on the low rate of conviction. Responding to the debate initiated by Narendra, the minister said they are taking several measures to ensure better investigation and improvement in conviction rate. Earlier, cases were coming up for trials after three years due to various reasons, including delays in getting the forensic science laboratory reports. To address that concern, the government increased the number of forensic science labs. Apart from this, the state government has also appointed Scene of Crime Officers (SOCO). 

Experts to collect evidence from crime scene, says Araga

“When rape or murder cases are reported, sub-inspector goes to the spot and collects evidence. But now we are making an attempt to collect evidence through experts, that is why we have appointed 206 SOCO who got special training from Gujarat FSL University. In the coming days, the state government will depute one SOCO in each taluk,” he said. The depar tment also strengthened teams investigating cyber crimes. “Our officers file FIR and submit chargesheet, but if there is no conviction, police are disappointed. This also encourages criminals,” he said.

The minister said this year alone the government is constructing police stations at a cost of Rs 200 crore at various places. Kageri said if the state government has taken these measures to crack down on crime, the state jails will get filled. The home minister said they are constructing a new jail at Shivamogga along with an additional barrack in all Central jails.

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