YK Poudel 

The country recorded a crime rise in 2022 by 8.7 percent, according to Royal Bhutan Police statistics.

The number of recorded crimes in 2022 increased by 681 compared to 262 in 2021.

Police recorded 3,501 criminal incidents last year with 1,160 arrestees being in the age group of 25 and 31.

Battery and substance abuse continue to be the leading criminal offences in the country, followed by physical abuse, larceny, and burglary cases.

The highest number of cases in 2022 was recorded in Thimphu with 1,462 cases, followed by Chhukha (305 crime cases), Paro (262 cases), and Sarpang (238 cases). The lowest was recorded in Zhemgang with 18 cases.

The police dealt with 778 battery cases, 593 substance abuse cases, 505 physical abuse cases, 308 larceny cases, and 251 burglary cases in 2022.

The Deputy Chief of Police, Passang Dorji, said that continued and consolidated efforts from society and individuals can reduce crime drastically. “The increase in crime rate requires immediate attention. The strict implementation of laws is a primary measure to curb this. In cases our patrolling teams encounter a group of people during night hours, we check them and advise them to be cautious.”

The police have been closely monitoring the situations, he said, and dealing efficiently with the cases in the country. “However, it is difficult to reach and nab the suppliers from outside.”

According to police, social factors such as unemployment were among the contributing factors.

“It is an individual’s responsibility to ensure safety and society should provide support to those who need help,” he said.