IG (West Zone) Periaiah, in a statement, said that the increase was due to higher awareness among the people.

POCSO cases rise by 39 in Coimbatore Erode Salem other TN West Zone dists in 2019 Image for representation
news Crime Tuesday, December 31, 2019 - 08:31

The number of cases filed under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act in the West Zone police districts in Tamil Nadu jumped by 39% this year. The police registered 425 cases under POCSO Act in 2019, while the corresponding number in 2018 was 305. 

The West Zone of Tamil Nadu consists of eight districts — Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruppur, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Erode, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri — and three police commissionerates, namely Coimbatore city, Tiruppur city and Salem city. 

According to a press statement issued by the Inspector General of West Zone, Periaiah, there was a marginal decrease in the number of murder cases filed in 2019 in the zone. The cases that were 254 in 2018 went down to 252 this year. The number of theft cases registered in the zone also showed a small decline by 5% this year, with 1,244 cases. 

POCSO cases showed a drastic increase in 2019 when compared to 2018, which, according to the police, is due to increased awareness among the people. The number of crimes against women showed a 6% decline in 2019. There were 887 cases registered for crimes committed against women in 2018, while the number slipped to 830 in 2019. 

The police slapped Goondas Act on 225 accused in 2019 as against 210 in 2018. The Goondas Act or the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Forest Offenders, Sand Offenders, Slum-Grabbers and Video Pirates Act, 1982, is usually used as a preventive measure to detain dangerous criminals. However, it is also being used by the police to deny the accused a shot at getting bail. Many a time, the courts have also come down heavily on the police for using the Goondas Act and have quashed it, upon plea by the accused. 

POCSO convictions

The west zone, according to the statement, also managed to secure a conviction in 81 murder cases in 2019 as compared to 52 cases in 2018. The most notable conviction of this year was the capital punishment awarded to the accused in the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Thudiyalur, Coimbatore, wherein, the conviction was secured in nine months. 

The police also managed to get 13 accused in rape cases convicted in 2019. This is a marginal increase from the nine convictions in 2018. POCSO cases saw a better conviction rate in 2019 with 61 accused getting convicted. In 2018, the number of POCSO cases where the accused were convicted stood at 53. 

Road accidents

The number of fatalities due to road accidents showed a decent decline in 2019 with 2,051 deaths due to road accidents. The corresponding number in 2018 stood at 2,783, thus recording a 26.3% decline in 2019. The number of road accidents also came down in 2019 by 13% as 12,554 accidents were registered in 2019. 

The police registered 83% more cases in 2019 on motorists for violating the Motor Vehicles Act. The number of such cases is 20.67 lakh in 2019 as against the 11.30 lakh cases in 2018. Similarly, the amount of penalty collected also went up by almost Rs 7 crore in 2019. 

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