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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • The shocking fact is of every Rs 100 stolen/looted, police could recover only Rs 29. In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the stolen property recovery rate was around 54 percent, whereas it's 50 percent in Chhattisgarh and over 39 percent in West Bengal.

Street crimes in Odisha hardly see any big dip in the pandemic year. While crimes like extortion and Burglaries had risen, a drop in thefts and robbery was recorded in the Covid-hit year.

The overall scenario remains challenging for the Odisha police as the State, like 2019, recorded around 49 street crimes every day in 2020. The big numbers then summarise how safe are the people and their properties in the State.

Interestingly, in Odisha, burglars strike in the night hours. A massive 98 percent of burglaries in the State were reported at night. And during the lockdown, when beat patrolling took a beating, burglars remained upbeat in 2020.

Similarly, the local 'goondas', backed by local politicians, raised their extortion target in the lockdown times. As a consequence, cases of extortion in the State grew by nearly 40 percent.

However, the nagging fact for Odisha police is in bank robberies, including robbing fat cash from individuals, Odisha ranked 2nd in the country for the two consecutive years of 2019 and 2020. Maharashtra leads the table in the country.

Street Crimes In Odisha

In the year 2020, the State had recorded a total of 17,943 street crimes, including extortion. The crime tally in 2019 was 18,040.

  • Nearly 9 vehicle theft per day were reported in 2020. The rate of theft per day in 2019 was around 10.
  • Other thefts, including mobile and chain snatchings, totalled over 6.97k.
  • Bank robberies and robbing from individuals per day in Covid-19 hit year were 6 per day against 7 per day in 2019.
  • Odisha recorded 2 extortions per day in 2020.
  • A day in Odisha gets wrapped up with cases of 12 burglaries.

Crime Against Property In Odisha

In the backdrop of such a tense street crime scenario in Odisha, in the table of property stolen/looted in the country, the State ranked in the top-10 states. The value of property plundered in 2020 was Rs 137.3 cr vis-a-vis Rs 129.7cr in 2019.

The shocking fact is of every Rs 100 stolen/looted, police could recover only Rs 29. In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the stolen property recovery rate was around 54 percent, whereas it's 50 percent in Chhattisgarh and over 39 percent in West Bengal.

In 2019, the recovery rate in Andhra Pradesh was 48 per cent, Chhattisgarh (33%), West Bengal (34.7%) and Odisha (31.2%).

The above comparison shows, as the Covid-19 workload on Odisha Police took a toll on stolen property recovery, all other neighbouring states have posted an improvement.

The Lesson

"Since in many instances it has been observed that many criminals after being released from jails regroup and go for robbery, theft or extortion bids, it is high time the released criminals need to brought under surveillance in the State. Also, there is a need to revamp the Beat Police System, whereby beat officers should be tasked with identifying top criminals of their beats as practised in metros like Mumbai," observed former DGP Bipin Mishra

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