“29% of people feel unsafe in Mumbai… 33% of the citizens said they do not feel secure for women, children and senior citizens of their locality. 31% do not feel safe while travelling within the city.”
If roughly 36,08,288 people do not feel safe in one of the world’s busiest, largest, and most “urban” cities, something is certainly going wrong. On November 14, Praja Foundation put out a whitepaper that analysed the reporting of crimes, the state of the police force, and the status of cases filed. Its findings are hard to ignore.
“Rape has increased by 13% and molestation by 28% in the year 2015-16. Whereas, within a span of 5 years (2011-12 to 2015-16), reporting of rape cases has increased by 289% and molestation by 287%.”
2,873 Mumbaikars went to a police station after a horrendous experience in 2016.
728 people reported rapes and 2,145 reported molestation cases in this year. We’re not even aware of the number of people who did not report such crimes.
“…Increase in reporting of crime against women is due to increase in actual instances…”
That it has become more acceptable to go to the police after an incident may be true, but there has been an actual increase in crimes over the last few years. This is despite the fact that news about rape is reported more widely and general awareness about women’s safety has increased.
“63% of reported rape case victims were below 18 years in 2015, while in 2014 it was 56%.”
That’s 448 children. That is 104 more children than the last year.
“From the statistics, we can see that crimes such as molestation and all thefts have increased sharply from 2014 to 2015 by 89% and 66% respectively.”
Despite the presence of constables in the ladies’ first class compartments at night, women are still not safe in trains.
“The data shows that currently Mumbai has sanctioned 45,752 police personnel however only 42,516 police personnel are working (difference of 3,236), a gap of 7%.”
It is difficult to ignore the 3,236 figure. One of the root causes of the rise in crimes against women is the lack of adequate police presence. Maybe 3,236 more police officers could have prevented so many crimes from occurring.
“Issues wise question asked by MLAs (Monsoon 2015 and Winter 2015): Rapes = 16”
Over two sessions of Parliament, less than 20 questions were asked about women’s issues. Either rape, molestation, and other crimes against women are not considered important enough to discuss in Parliament, or our MLAs don’t know that women’s safety is compromised.
“…South Mumbai is considered to be most unsafe.”
The lower classes seem to feel most unsafe in the city.
- “27% of citizens across all wards stated lack of time as a major reason for non-reportage of crimes witnessed by them.
- Overall 13% respondents who witnessed crime did not report because they do not have faith in the police, while 7% did not report as they don’t think it is their duty to inform the police.
- 50% of people from North Central Mumbai claim they don’t have time to report crime and 20% of people from North West Mumbai hesitate to report because they feel speaking to the police officials is a painful task.
- 23% of people from South Mumbai feel that by informing about crime incidences to police, they will invite trouble for themselves.”
The upper classes don’t have any faith in the police or legal system. They also think that speaking to the police officials is a painful task, and that it is not their duty to inform them. The middle class stated that they do not have the time for this, and that they don’t want to get involved in any trouble.
If you are raped, it will take 21 months for your case to go from filing an FIR to the decision stage. On average, you will spend nine months waiting for your FIR to turn into a charge sheet. It will take 11 months for your case to have finally get a verdict.