More than half of those arrested in Thimphu last year were youth, according to records with the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP).

Thimphu police arrested 1,180 people in 2018, 163 more than the previous year. Of which, 643 were youths.  Of the total arrested, only about 13 percent are from Thimphu and the rest from other dzongkhags.

According to a study by the RBP, it was found that about 42 percent of the arrested were habitual or repeat offenders.

The police registered 2,595 cases in the same year, up by one in 2017. Offences related to drugs constitute 46 percent of the total offences; battery was 18 percent and larceny, 11 percent.

In terms of occupation, 568 offenders were unemployed and 181 students. About 374 were private sector employees.

Offences related to controlled substances topped the offence with 123 students committing the crime. About 21 students were involved in battery and 16 in larceny.

While reported crime cases in Thimphu decreased from 1,636 in 2013 to 1,009 cases in 2016, the number more than doubled to 2,594 cases in 2017.

An official with the RBP said the increase in cases is because of mandatory case registration for accurate data analysis. “Minor cases which were previously not recorded are now recorded.”

Larceny, assault or battery, crime related to controlled substances, burglary and auto stripping were the five common offences reported in Thimphu and across the country.

Crime against property increased from 48 percent in 2016 to 51 percent in 2018. The study found that the offenders commit the crime when there was an opportunity and lack of means to satisfy their desire.

Auto stripping, which is vandalising and stealing parts of a vehicle happened mostly in areas with no lighting.

It was found that the offenders including students commit the crime under the influence of intoxicants.

Meanwhile, most of the mobile phone lost cases was reported to be lost from vehicles and it was mostly due to the owner’s carelessness.

Of the 375 reported mobile phone cases related to larceny in 2018, about 68 cases were charged to court and 27 withdrawn. About 280 cases are pending. This year, 69 cases were reported to date of which nine were charged to court and 60 are pending.

Most cases were detected through the device’s unique International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI). Police has urged people to record their IMEI number and to refrain from buying second-hand mobile phones from strangers.

Assault and battery cases constitute 21 to 25 percent of the total reported cases. It was found that more than 75 percent of the offenders committed the crime under the influence of intoxicants including alcohol.

There are 529 licensed bars in Thimphu alone.

Thimphu Thromde reported more crime (89 percent) than the gewogs (11 percent). Of the eight gewogs, Chang, Maedwang and Kawang reported more criminal cases.

Meanwhile, in the thromde, Norzin Lam area, Changzamtok- Olakha, Babesa – Simtokha were found to be crime hotspots.

The CCTV cameras have helped in detecting 126 criminal and 492 traffic offences from 2018 to date.

About 355 people were arrested in civil cases last year and 33 persons this year to date.

Dechen Tshomo