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Delhi’s Persistent Safety Concerns: High Incidence of Crimes Against Women Demands Urgent Action

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Despite efforts to address safety concerns, Delhi remains one of the most perilous metropolitan areas for women in India, as highlighted by data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). In 2022, the city witnessed an average of three rapes per day, contributing to a total of 14,158 reported crimes against women. This marked a slight increase from the 13,982 cases reported in 2021.

Delhi’s alarming figures translated to 186.9 crimes against women per 100,000 people, reflecting a pressing issue that authorities must confront. The city accounted for 29.04% of the 48,755 reported crimes against women in 19 major cities nationwide, indicating a failure of law and order mechanisms to establish a secure environment for women.

While Delhi faced significant challenges, Jaipur emerged as the most unsafe city in India, reporting a rate of 239.3 crimes against women. The capital of Rajasthan documented 3,479 crimes against women.

Responding to the high numbers in Delhi, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Public Relations) Suman Nalwa emphasized the force’s commitment to registering complaints without turning away complainants. She explained the proactive approach, stating that senior police officers oversee the status of complaints at each police station, contributing to the higher number of reported crimes. Nalwa also noted the practice of filing Zero FIRs and transferring cases to respective states for a comprehensive resolution.

Despite the stark statistics, experts, including Braja Kishore Singh, a former joint commissioner of Delhi Police now practicing law at the Supreme Court, caution against solely relying on rankings. Singh emphasized the importance of considering causality and various factors influencing crime rates, suggesting that preventive measures should be prioritized over city-to-city comparisons.

Delhi led in various categories of crimes against women, including rape, with 1,204 cases accounting for nearly a third of metropolitan cities’ reported rapes. The city also recorded the highest number of dowry deaths (129), surpassing other major cities. However, in one category—cases under Indian Penal Code section 509 (insult to the modesty of women)—Mumbai topped the list, indicating diverse challenges that require tailored interventions across cities.