Put into perspective, crime rate in Bhutan is still small. But it is growing.

Going by the latest official reports, Thimphu has the highest crime rate (58 percent) in the country. The trend that is unfolding is: the bigger the town, the higher the crime instances. And our quiet and self-content villages are fast growing into bustling towns.

The rising crime rate in the capital city is worrying, but the kind of crimes that are increasingly playing out on the streets is unsettling. The video clip of a fight that occurred at the parking lot of the Centenary Farmers’ Market in Thimphu Tuesday has shaken the society to a cold reality. It is amazing how young people openly disregard laws and the keepers of the laws.

Because crimes are the indicators of emerging and festering diseases in the society, there is today an urgent need to look inward and internalise the malaises that we have given fecund soil to.

Somewhere we have failed certain sections of our society. The frustrations and pains that they are going through are showing in dangerous forms. It is not only parents and education system that are to blame this day. At the wider level, we need to look at our development policies and reflect whether they have been adequately inclusive.

Theoretically, we have enough policies and measures to direct the growth of our small society to the right direction – from youth issues to rehabilitation to poverty reduction and many more.

Youth unemployment and crime rate have direct correlation. When the nation is not able to keep pace in terms of job creation with the increasing number of jobseekers, we have sown the seed of disparity and pain that follows for individuals and families.

While we play with unemployment figures to suit our needs, the kinds of desperation that our young people are going through today and are finding expression in their varied forms are a testimony to policy failure that we must repair immediately.