Yangyel Lhaden 

Thimphu police in the past three years have observed a significant drop in crimes across the city.

Between 2018 and 2020, there was a 60 percent drop in cases reported to the police. The number of cases fell from 2,595 in 2018 to 1,046 last year. In 2019, there were 1,999 cases.

Last year, 306 suspects were arrested and charged. In 2019, 577 suspects and in 2018, 730 were arrested and charged.

Officer in Command of Thimphu police station, Gembo Penjor attributes the drop to the Covid-19 pandemic last year. “To ensure people followed the Covid-19 safety protocols  patrolling around the clock by police and desuups also helped reduce crimes.”

A police official said in 2018 cases was worrisome with more than 350 cases reported each month. He said in 2019 every school in Thimphu was sansitised about criminal offences and its consequences.

A police official said they targeted schools as crime was mostly committed by those aged between 12 and 25.

Additionally in 2019, officials from six community police centres went door-to-door sensitising residents. In 2019, about 150 cases was reported every month.

Cases include both criminal and civil and in some cases, more than one individual is involved.

The top six crimes of 2020 in the city are drugs (202 cases), battery (178 cases), larceny (143 cases), burglary (71 cases), auto stripping (48 cases), and 36 cases of breach of public order and tranquillity.

Auto stripping, battery, burglary, larceny, larceny of property lost, mislaid or delivered by mistake, and drugs were the top six crimes in the previous two years.

Major Gembo Penjor said larceny of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake was mostly loss of mobile phones. “If one knows international mobile equipment identity number of their phone it is easier to track them.”

He said that drug cases in 2020 mostly included thinner and marijuana whereas in previous years most drug cases was smuggling and trafficking of Spasmo Proxyvon Plus. Last year, drug cases reduced by 101 cases compared with 2019.  In 2019, drug cases increased by 85 compared to 2018.

Records with police show most cases of battery and larceny in 2018 which significantly reduced in the following years. In 2020, battery cases dropped to 178 which is 65 percent decrease compared with 2018. A police officer said most battery cases was due to domestic violence in 2020.

Chang and Kawang gewogs recorded the highest number of cases in the past three years. Naro and Soe gewogs the lowest. There was no crime recorded from Soe and Naro gewogs last year.

In 2020, 36 cases of breach of public order and tranquility was recorded in Thimphu. This year till March, 20 more cases of breach of public order and tranquillity were recorded.

Missing person cases topped the civil case list. In 2018, 74 missing person complaints were lodged which increased to 76 in 2019. In 2020, it dropped to 44.