Bengaluru crime data 2023: Only 3 out of 10 cases detected by police

Analysis of crime cases reported in 2023

Women in a police station
Representative image. In a police station. Pic: Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

According to the recently released 2023 Bengaluru Crime Data, there is a significant gap between reported and detected crimes in the city. 

In 2023, 12,627 cases of total crimes were reported, of which only 3,603 crimes were detected. This shows a gap of 71.48% between reported and detected cases.

From 2022 to 2023, there seems to have been a 36% rise in crimes across the city, driven by various motives. However, sudden and grave provocation topped the list for motives. “We can never definitely say that crime has increased or decreased, because crime is always there, only the trend in the type of crime keeps changing, which gets reflected in the numbers,” says a police official, on condition of anonymity. “Previously, we had to deal with a lot of theft cases. Our department is currently facing the challenge of dealing with a rise in cybercrime.”

He adds that the increase in crime can be interpreted in either a negative or positive way. “It may show an increased trust in the police force or simply be indicative of a surge in criminal activity. But a definitive conclusion cannot be drawn,” he says.

Crimes against women and children

The number of molestation cases, both reported and detected, has increased. The total number of crimes against women is 3,260 reported and 3,121 detected in 2023, which shows a gap of 4.29% gap between reported and detected cases. And compared to 2022, there has been a 23.94% rise in the number of reported cases. A similar pattern applies to crimes against children. There were both 631 reported cases and 588 detected cases, which shows a gap of 6.80% between reported and detected cases and an increase in 12.48% of reported cases, compared to 2022. Out of 176 rape cases reported, 115 were filed on the grounds of promise of love or marriage. 

Crimes against women and children from 2021-23.
Crimes against women and children from 2021-23. Source: BCP press note

Read more: Declining allocation and underutilisation: BBMP’s budget for non-physical infrastructure over the years


Falling into the cybercrime trap

The 2023 data shows 17,623 reported cases of cybercrime, out of which 1,271 were detected, revealing a gap of 92.80% between reported and detected cases. “Our main challenge is dealing with cybercrime, since there is no restriction over country borders. Any transaction can be done from any country and tapping it down to its source is very challenging; that is something our department is currently working on,” says the official. 

Narcotics drugs seized and values of the seized drugs from 2021-23.
Narcotics drugs seized and values of the seized drugs from 2021-23. Source: BCP Press Note

However, BCP is using technology more efficiently to deal with cases. For lost and forgotten cases, they have developed an app, E-lost, where one can register a complaint regarding their lost object and the case is taken up from there. They are using technology to make it easier for people to register complaints; however, these are not filed as FIRs. “We are trying to make provisions to file FIRs online as well. That is a work in progress and is not in the public domain yet,” says the official. 

Neighbourhood involvement in tackling crime

BCP tried to introduce initiatives like the neighbourhood watch committee. The initiative began as an experiment in New Delhi in 1989 and trickled down to Karnataka in 1994, but was not taken forward due to several reasons. However, in 2020, it was re-introduced by the then Commissioner of Police, Bhaskar Rao in 2020. It was a huge success in the south division of Bengaluru, involving the assistance of NGOs and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) as well. But the initiative has been currently stopped due to lack of enthusiasm from the public. The reason for this is that residents did not want to accompany the police during night patrolling, according to the police official; however, this 2020 report in Citizen Matters demonstrates the opposite.

Currently, monitoring and patrolling of neighbourhoods are being conducted more frequently, according to the police official. Also, CCTV cameras have been set up, not just by the police, but also by residents of individual houses, which prove helpful in case a crime occurs in the vicinity. For example, 101 CCTV cameras were recently set up in South Bengaluru by both residents and locals to improve safety, as per news reports.

The police official, however, says that no area can be tagged as safe or unsafe, as it is a matter of perspective. “We cannot call an entire ward/area as unsafe; we look at Bengaluru as a single unit while functioning. The local inspector decides which spots of the area require how much patrolling at what time. They do the analysis and GPS locations are generated to send the constables for patrolling. Hence, every street has a varied frequency of patrolling. But every effort is well researched to keep the citizens safe.”

Steps taken by the police to monitor crime

To make the city safer, Hoysala cars have been deployed on the roads, more CCTV cameras have been installed, and the police department has become more active on social media. Also, all Hoysala police staff have body cams. The national police helpline number, 112, is always active for any complaints and concerns. “If any person does not know which station they have to go to, or how to follow the procedure, they can call 112 and the team will guide them accordingly,” the official adds. 

“In Bengaluru, we have more educated people with easy access to social media and we never say no to registering cases. We only want people to come forward and trust the police,” says the official. He claims that some cases have even been filed against a few celebrities and that they do not prioritise one case over another. Though there is different jurisdiction depending on how heinous the crime is, each case is given the same priority. He also says that the police have been sensitised to interact with the public in a more supportive and calm manner. 

“Though we have adequate staff, we have our own challenges. We look into every tweet or post we are tagged in so that we can take immediate action. If found to be fake, we file a complaint against the person spreading false news by tracking them down through their IP address,” he says.

BCP also focuses more on reaching out to the public through social media and live activities to spread awareness about safety. One among them being Lokaspandana QR code, which was set up in every station, to collect feedback from every person who visits the station on how they were treated.

While the crime data numbers may appear concerning, the police is making considerable efforts to ensure citizens’ safety. However, a comprehensive analysis of police action and progress can only be known next year.

How to contact Bengaluru City Police:

  • 112 emergency number to dial in any unsafe situation in the city, irrespective of the station limits
  • Bengaluru City Police website, which includes numbers of stations from all divisions
  • E-Lost app to register your complaints for lost and stolen cases
  • Cyber Crime website to lodge related complaints

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About Harshitha Padmavinod 7 Articles
Harshitha is a reporter with Citizen Matters, Bengaluru. She is interested in covering issues on women's rights, environment, crime, and civic concerns. Her work has been previously published in The Hindu, The Logical Indian and Deccan Herald.