Cases registered under POCSO increased by almost 100% in Coimbatore city in 2018 compared to the previous year.

Crimes against children increase in Coimbatore city top cop urges parents vigilanceImage for representation
news Crime Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 15:28

The latest Crime Records Bureau data for Coimbatore city reveals some troubling numbers, especially when it comes to children. According to this data available with TNM, not only was there almost 100% increase in reported cases of sexual crimes against children, rise in petty theft and youngsters being involved in narcotics-related crimes paint a worrying picture.

Coimbatore city recorded 27 cases under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act from January to December 2018, compared to 2017 when 14 cases were registered.

The city also saw an increase in the number of petty crimes last year. The number of cases registered for crimes like pickpocketing and two-wheeler thefts among others stood at 525 - 80 more than the previous year. The detection and recovery rate in these crimes was also lower in 2018.

Meanwhile, the number of cases filed in relation to crimes committed against women saw a decline from 97 in 2017 to 81 cases registered under various categories in 2018. These crimes include kidnapping, abduction, rape, molestation, cruelty by husband and cases registered under Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women act, 1998.

Crimes committed by youth is on the rise

Speaking to TNM about the increase in crimes in the city, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dr L Balaji Saravanan, said that the influence of internet and mobile phones on the generation worries him. "I am not sure what is causing the youth of today to engage in such crimes, but I think the influence of mobile phones and internet cannot be brushed away."

He added that the police department is working on preventing the youth from committing crimes and that three teams have been put in place with an aim to reduce crime rates.

"We have formed one team each for addressing cybercrimes related to women, crimes committed by adolescents, and rowdy culture in the city. We have also started conducting awareness programs in schools and colleges to prevent students from going down wrong paths," he explained.

Balaji Saravanan says that there is a spike in the instances in which women are threatened by men using their videos taken in compromising positions. "All is well when it is between that particular man and woman. But once it steps over to the point of the man blackmailing the woman with the video, things start becoming ugly. In such situations, women shouldn't hesitate to come to the police station and file complaints," he urged.

Expressing his concern over offences related to narcotics, in which teen boys are sometimes involved, the deputy commissioner added that the department is approaching them sensitively. "We check for the background of those caught in these types of cases and take action accordingly. Based on information gathered about the people involved, we decide if the accused has to be sent to juvenile homes or prisons or if another appropriate action can be taken.”

Parents must be watchful

Emphasising the role of parents in shaping their children's future, Balaji Saravanan says that it would be better if parents are mindful of what their kids are up to. "Such crimes are often regretted by the underage offenders. Just imagine what their parents must go through. I would request the parents to be vigilant and watch the activities of their kids. That can help spot changes in their behaviour patterns and rightful intervention can help prevent such crimes from happening," he adds.