Jigmi Wangdi

Battery or crimes against persons is the most prevalent offence at 78 percent of all crimes, according to recent data maintained with Royal Bhutan Police.

In 2024, a total of 1210 criminal cases were reported from January till mid-April – showing an increase comparatively – with Thimphu reporting the highest number of cases at 424, followed by Phuentsholing reporting 231 cases, and Gelephu with 135 cases.

In 2022, Bhutan recorded a surge in crimes against persons compared to the previous year. Battery emerged as the most prevalent offence, constituting 78 percent of all crimes in this category, followed by assault at 6 percent. The total number of crimes against persons in 2022 reached 996, marking an increase of 1.02 percent from 2021.

Battery was the highest reported crime in 2020, at 79 percent of all offences, with rape of a child above 12 years of age accounting for 6 percent.

These statistics presents otherwise to the popular assumption that criminal activities in Bhutan have been consistently decreasing over recent years.

In fact, the country did witness a slight decline in reported criminal cases from 2018 to 2021, with figures dropping from 4310 in 2018 to 2819 in 2021, but thereafter, in 2022, it increased to 3502 cases.

In response to the challenges on increasing crimes, the RBP had reiterated its commitment to maintaining public safety and upholding the rule of law. RBP had been carrying out timely awareness campaigns and enhanced community policing efforts as well.

Thimphu had recently seen violent crimes such as homicide take place, increasing public concern. However, officials from the Crime and Operation Department of the RBP said that violent crimes were rare in Bhutan.

“We do not want to create unnecessary alarm among the people. Our citizens should not have fear in their minds regarding their safety. Our country has not reached such a situation where heinous crimes are increasing. These are very rare,” the official said.

Regarding homicide cases, the Divisions of the RBP around the country recorded a total of eight cases from January till mid-April.