KP Sharma

Last year marked a 12 percent rise in criminal offenses in the country compared to 2022, according to the police records.

There was a simultaneous decrease in some offences like battery and larceny. 

In 2022, the police recorded 3,819 cases and in 2023, the number increased to 4,300, indicating a rise of 481 cases or a 12.59 percent.

This represents the highest number of cases recorded in the last three years, as only 2,818 cases were reported by the police in 2021.

However, certain criminal offences such as battery and larceny reflected a decline in 2023. In 2022, the police recorded 1,283 battery cases but the number decreased to 868 in 2023, reflecting a decrease of 415 cases. Media reports indicate that only 778 cases were reported in 2021.

Regarding larceny, the police recorded 308 cases in 2022, which decreased to 286 cases in 2023, showing a decline of 22 cases.

In addition, burglary witnessed a decrease of 35 cases in 2023 compared to the previous year.

On the other hand, offences related to substance abuse surged significantly over a three-year span. The recorded cases increased from 761 in 2022 to 1,566 in 2023, marking a substantial rise. In 2021, the police reported only 331 cases of substance abuse.

In 2023, Thimphu reported the highest number of cases at 1,409, followed by Phuentsholing with 904 and Gelephu with 297 cases. In comparison to 2022, Thimphu experienced a decrease of approximately 53 cases, while the other two saw a rise.

While several dzongkhags observed a reduction in criminal offences, a few locations such as Bumthang, Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samdrup Jongkhar, and Trashiyangtse, continue to witness a surge in the number of criminal offences.

Breaking down the data by age group, the police apprehended 3,634 individuals aged 25 years and above, 2,076 individuals between the ages of 18 to 24, and 532 individuals below the age of 17.

When comparing these figures with those from the previous year, it is evident that the numbers have increased across all age groups.

The RBP is enhancing patrolling in major towns and populated areas by deploying additional personnel to mitigate criminal incidents in the country.

The police attribute the observed decrease of some criminal incidents to these proactive initiatives.