Overall drop in crime

But certain crimes have increased

Crime:  Despite the drop in the overall crime rate in the country, police records show an increase in crime against property like larceny and burglary, offences against the Ku-Sung-Thukten or statues, scriptures, and lhakhangs, among others.

Going by the dzongkhags, Thimphu has the highest crime rate of 32 percent. In 2013, the crime rate in the capital was 1,314.

Chief of Police Kipchu Namgyel said that in 2010, 65 percent of all crimes occurred in Thimphu.

Even if the crime rate decreased in the last four years, it is still a major concern for the police.

“We will try to further reduce the crime rate,” said Kipchu Namgyel.

Every year, battery is recorded as one of the highest crimes committed in almost all the dzongkhags.

Some 521 battery cases were recorded from a total of 2,775 crime incidences last year. Thimphu recorded the highest with 164 battery cases.

Police records also show possession and illegal transaction of controlled substances are increasing in Thimphu, Chukha and Paro.

Since the start of the crackdown on drug trafficking in 2013 until May 8 this year, a total of 1,073 were involved in the possession of controlled substances were arrested. From a total of 625 youths, 200 were students.

“The increasing number of youths getting involved in crime is another major concern,” said Kipchu Namgyel. The number of youths involved in crime decreased to 932 in 2014 as compared with 988 in the previous year.

However, the year saw a decrease in motor vehicle accidents and homicides. The number of road accidents decreased to 791 last year from 1,094 in 2013. Thimphu alone recorded 602 road accidents last year, while 189 road accidents occurred in other dzongkhags.

About 59 percent of road accidents are caused because of reckless driving, followed by 20 percent of drink-driving, seven percent driving without licence, and five percent due to speeding.

With the high number of accidents in the capital, there is a need of strict rules and regulations. Therefore, the traffic division of the police has started observing the zero tolerance day every Friday.

From 2012 to April this year, the traffic division of the police has collected Nu 79.25 million in fines from traffic offenders.

Homicides decreased by 37 percent in 2014. There were 12 homicides recorded last year, as compared to 19 the previous year.

But challenges remain like the absence of a forensic science laboratory, lack of latest and advanced scientific aids to investigation, remote location of lhakhangs and choetens, and lack of resources to carry out mobile community policing programmes in gewogs, among others.

Despite the challenges, the Royal Bhutan Police will continue with crime prevention measures, said Kipchu Namgyel.

By Dechen Tshomo

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