December 15, 2011


Times of India

Most city rapes occur in SoBo

Mumbai: More rapes occur in south Mumbai than anywhere else in the city.

This has been revealed by data obtained by NGO Praja Foundation through RTI Act queries on crime statistics for the last three years.
South Mumbai recorded 40 of the overall 180 rape cases in 2010-11, the highest in the city. Also, the number of rape cases rose by 42%—28 in 2009-10 to 40 in 2010-11. There were 33 rapes in 2008-09. The region, though, had the second lowest number of molestation cases—12—among all zones in 2010-11, a sharp fall from 34 instances in 2009-10.

A total of 193 cases of rape were registered in 2008-09 across all regions of Mumbai. In 2009-10, the figure dropped to 171. However, it went up again to 180 in 2010-11. Over a three-year period, it indicated a 7% drop. On the other hand, molestation cases saw a 47% rise in this period. The number of molestation cases increased from 105 in 2008-09 to 198 in 2009-10, before falling marginally to 154 in 2010-11.

Not enough cops to ensure safety?

Crimes Against Women Increase, Staff Crunch Hits Control Rooms

Increasing incidents of crime against women in Mumbai has raised doubts over its ‘safe city’ tag. The situation is aggravated by the acute staff shortage in police control rooms, which delays reaction time to an incident .

Data obtained by NGO Praja Foundation through RTI queries shows that south Mumbai recorded the highest number of rape cases (40) in 2010-11, up from 28 cases in 2009-10.

The figures also indicated that north-west Mumbai, covering Jogeshwari, Dindoshi, Goregaon, Versova and Andheri, was one of the most unsafe areas. While rape cases declined across the city, north-west Mumbai was one of the only two regions that saw a sharp rise (30%) in cases registered over the past three years. In the same time period, molestation cases more than doubled from 31 in 2008-09 to 65 in 2010-11.
On the situation in south Mumbai, additional commissioner of police (south region) Naval Bajaj argues that the numbers don’t necessarily indicate that the area is more unsafe for women or that there is a breakdown of law and order. “I am confident that if you ask for a breakdown of this data, almost 70% of the cases will come from D B Marg or V P Road police stations. These two police stations regularly crack down on local prostitution rings and brothels and we book the pimps and brothel owners for rape. So, this is more of a technical definition and indicates vigilant policing,” he explains.

He adds that an increase in the number of registered cases may also indicate that women have greater faith in the policing system now and are more willing to come forward and lodge complaints.

The study also highlighted the acute shortage of staff in the police control rooms, with almost half of the 272 sanctioned posts, or around 49%, yet to be filled. As in the case of the Amboli murders, when the two victims’ friends were trying to get through to the police control room for 20 minutes before they could finally call for help, these vacancies may sometimes result in an overload on the current staff and ultimately lead to a decrease in safety on the streets.

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