In Chandigarh, crime by juveniles sees 46% surge in a year - Hindustan Times
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In Chandigarh, crime by juveniles sees 46% surge in a year

By, Chandigarh
Mar 29, 2024 09:48 AM IST

The city of Chandigarh, with its ever-widening economic gap between the rich and the poor, is witnessing a disturbing trend; crime by juveniles is on the rise and as per statistics has reached alarming levels

It was a theft of equipment worth over 1 crore at yet-to-be inaugurated electric vehicle charging stations that left everyone shocked and landed police at the centre of embarrassment.

According to police officials, most of the juveniles who turn to crime are school dropouts. (Shutterstock)
According to police officials, most of the juveniles who turn to crime are school dropouts. (Shutterstock)

But what caused far greater embarrassment to the police was the fact that the theft was executed not by seasoned criminals but children as young as eight years old, who sold off the costly equipment for a cheap price of 6,000. The five boys, aged between 8 and 11, were ultimately counselled and enrolled in a school.

The city of Chandigarh, with its ever-widening economic gap between the rich and the poor, is witnessing a disturbing trend. Crime by juveniles is on the rise and as per statistics has reached alarming levels. In 2022, as many as 116 children below the age of 18 were apprehended for various crimes. The number jumped to 170 in 2023 — a surge of 46.5% — with children being involved in a wide variety of crimes. Even in 2024, already 29 juveniles have been apprehended for various crimes.

In 2023, as many as 17 juveniles were arrested for murder cases, compared to just one in 2022. In the same year, 10 juveniles were arrested for attempt to murder, while 11 juveniles were apprehended for assaults.

Violent crimes apart, it is the petty crimes committed by juveniles that are enough to give the police sleepless nights. A whopping 32 juveniles were apprehended for committing thefts in 2023, up from 19 in 2022.

According to police officials, most of the juveniles who turn to crime are school dropouts.

“It has been observed that most of the juveniles who get involved in crimes are school dropouts and from peripheral areas of the city. When a crime is committed, police ensure the complaint is dealt with neutrality and the offender is brought to book. In cases where the children are found to be very young, the cases are dealt with sensitively. Police have also been going out of the way to counsel children and even their parents, and also ensure they are enrolled in schools,” said SSP Kanwardeep Kaur.

Chairperson of Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights Shipra Bansal said it was a grim situation when crimes by juveniles were rising. “In the rat race to prove themselves right, the juveniles who take to crime fail to differentiate between right and wrong. We will be beginning with counselling sessions of the children residing in peripheral areas and also coordinate with the officials of Juvenile Justice Board for their effective counselling,” she said.

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