Motor vehicle accident cases drop by 10 percent 

Report: Thimphu continues to be the crime capital of the country despite a drop in the overall crime rate by 13 percent in 2015.

Police records show that with 2,055 penal code offenses reported last year, crime rate recorded a drop by 13 percent or 312 cases against the previous year. In 2014, the total crime recorded was 2,367.

Revealing the crime statistics categorized under penal and non-penal offences at a press conference yesterday, records indicate a drop in crimes in 17 dzongkhags. Paro, Trashiyangtse and Gasa, however, recorded a slight increase in crime.

Chief of police, Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal attributed the drop in crime to His Majesty’s leadership besides support from the government and the stakeholders concerned.

“Rising crime in a society is like the side affect of development,” Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal said citing the example of how crime in Trongsa increased after the Mangdechu power project began.

The Chief also thanked the communities and member of the various police public and youth partnership programme for their support. “Police cannot function alone to bring down crime rate,” he said.

Dzongkhag wise, the highest crime, as is the trend, was reported in Thimphu followed by Chukha and Paro with 746, 291 and 178 cases respectively.

Police officials said they would conduct a “post mortem” on why there was an increase in crime in Paro, Trashiyangtse and Gasa last year. Paro recorded 37 percent increase in crime last year, Trashiyangtse by one percent and Gasa by five.

The seven highest crimes reported last year were battery (439), larceny (357), burglary (344), possession and illicit transaction of controlled substances (296), offense against Ku-Sung-Thukten (129), malicious mischief (60) and auto stripping (37).

Categorized under heinous crimes, rape cases dropped to 33 last year from 43 in 2014.

Illegal transaction of controlled substances remained the same with 33 cases each in 2014 and 2015. Only one kidnapping case was recorded in 2015 while homicide increased to 14 cases from seven in 2014.

Offense against Ku-Sung-Thukten dropped by about 50 percent last year with 129 cases. In 2014, 230 cases were recorded through out the country.

Non-penal offenses such as suicide, missing persons, fire accidents, accidental death, injury, drowning, unnatural death, and attempted suicide recorded a drop by four cases. Non-penal offense, according to police, is not a punishable offense.

“Although not a crime, if we delve deeper into it, it could be a criminal case,” Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal said, citing the death of a radio jockey wherein it was registered as unnatural death but later found to be murder.

The police recorded 80 suicide cases, 45 fire accidents, 39 accidental deaths, one accidental injury, 17 drowning cases, 33 unnatural deaths and 24 attempted suicide. In 2015, 78 people went missing of which police traced 30 while in 2014 140 went missing of which 21 were traced.

Similarly, motor vehicle accidents in 2015 also dropped by 10 percent or by 76 cases.  Dzongkhag wise, six dzongkhags recorded a drop while accidents increased in the rest of the dzongkhags.  Thimphu, Chukha, Paro, Sarpang, Punakha and Dagana recorded a drop in motor vehicle accident.

Thimphu, Chukha and Paro contribute the highest to the overall motor vehicle accidents. Although there is a drop in motor vehicle accidents, more deaths were recorded last year at 99 while injury from accidents dropped to 373.

When asked about unsolved cases, police said earlier it used to be closed in six months. However, now with the amended Police Act, cases are left open for 10 years after which it is closed forever.

Police said cases usually remain unsolved owing to lack of evidence. “Now unsolved cases remain as ‘cold file’,” Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal.

Police said case-solving rate depends on various criteria like the number of cases detected, cases per officers, and the population in the area, among others. Besides, police officials said internal auditing of cases also takes place.

“We not only look at quantitative but qualitative reduction in crime,” Brigadier Kipchu Namgyal.

Kinga Dema