Mumbai turned out to be the second most unsafe city for women in India, after national capital Delhi, with the metropolis accounting for 12.3 per cent of the total number of cases of crime registered against women in the country in 2016.
According to the statistics released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Thursday, 5,128 cases, out of a total of 41,761 cases of crimes targeting women, were registered in Mumbai.
Delhi got the dubious honour of topping the list by registering 33 per cent (13,803 out of 41,761 cases) of total cases of crimes against women. The IT city Bengaluru saw the third most cases of women-related offences with 3,412 cases registered by the local police.
Mumbai has seen a steady rise in the number of crimes against women in the past three years. While 3,974 cases were registered in 2014, the figure increased to 4,819 cases in 2015.
“It only indicates that over the years, we have been successful in our efforts to encourage women to come forward and lodge complaint. Offences against women on cyber and electronic platform and cases of abuse on the false promise of marriage are also part of it,” said Deven Bharti, joint commissioner of police (law and order).
Experts also denied that the rise crimes against women does not mean Mumbai is no longer safe for women. The city’s policing is more transparent resulting in more crimes being registered, reasoned Y.P. Singh, IPS officer turned lawyer.
“Even if you ask any women if she feels safe while travelling alone here, she would say yes. Women work at odd hours and roam freely in Mumbai than other places. This is also a glamour town and the surge in figure is also due to many cases of failed love affairs being registered,” Mr Singh said.
The police also added that they have been successful in spreading awareness among women and that is another factor, which has culminated in the rise in a number of cases.
“We have been successful in preventing major offences against women at public places which has been largely due to visible police presence, intensive patrolling and awareness campaigns by police in partnership with social groups,” said Mr Bharti. “Implementation of ‘Police Didi’ scheme has been a great help and has encouraged young children to share their sufferings with the police,” he said.
In 2016, Maharashtra recorded the third highest number of cases in connection with rape with the police registering a rise of 12.4 per cent from 34,651 cases in the country in 2015 to 38,947 in 2016.
Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh reported the highest incidence of rape with 4,882 cases (12.5 per cent) and 4,816 (12.4 per cent) respectively followed by Maharashtra 4,189 (10.7 per cent) last year.