RBP says national crime rate has dropped by 15%

The nationwide crime rate has dropped by about 15% in 2014, as declared by the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) in a press conference on February 12.

2775 crime cases were reported in 2014, showing there were 513 fewer crime cases in 2014 compared the 3288 crime cases reported 2013. The crime rate has declined in 13 dzongkhags, whereas seven dzongkhags recorded a rise.

Bomdeling-Jamkhar and National Council MP Tharchen from Trongsa.

Thimphu holds the highest crime rate, but compared to records in 2013, it has decreased by 32%. In 2014, Thimphu, alone, accounted for 32% of the total crime reported nationwide. The crime rate in Thimphu in 2013 was at 39%, in 2012 at 46%, and in 2011 at 65%.

There were 891offences reported in 2014, 1314 offences in 2013 in Thimphu. Chukha comes in second with 389 offences recorded last year and 388 in 2013. Paro hold the third highest offence rate with 182 last year and 199 in 2013. Gasa recorded the least crime rate with 7 offences last year to 11 in 2013.

Lhuentse saw a highest increase in the crime rate (60%) from 2013. The dzongkhag recorded 66 offences last year and 41 in 2013. The Chief of Police, Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said that it is mainly due to increase in the offence against Kusung Thukten in Lhuentse.

The offence of possession of controlled substance ascended highest by 30% whereas the homicide offence rate has dropped by 63%.

The possession of controlled substance accounted to 337 cases last year from 259 in 2013 and homicide offence was recorded at 7 last year from 19 cases in 2013. Thimphu recorded the highest offence of possession of controlled substance, where 66 last year and 101 in 2013.

The offence against Kusung Thukten increased by 12%, reported at 233 cases last year to 208 in 2013. Most of the offence against Kusung Thukten was reported in Lhuntse.

The nationwide battery cases saw a decline by 17% from 521 (164 cases reported in Thimphu) in 2014 to 629 cases (210 cases reported in Thimphu) in 2013. Larceny offences accounted 393 last year to 577 in 2013 and Burglary at 296 last year to 467 in 2013.

Suicide and rape cases accounted 84 and 43 last year to 89 and 51 in 2013 subsequently. Illegal transaction of controlled substance offence was recorded 33 last year, of which 20 were reported in Thimphu and 30 cases of controlled substance offences was recorded in 2013, of which Phuentsholing accounted for 15 cases.

The kidnapping offence saw a rise, with 3 cases (one each in Samtse, Sarpang and Gelephu) reported last year and only one case in Sarpang reported in 2013.

The Police Chief said the decline in the national crime rate is due to increased public participation and cooperation to curb crime, along with the efforts put in by RBP officers.

The decline in the crime rate recorded in Thimphu, he added, is attributed to the fact that Thimphu has double or triple the resources required to control crime as compared to the other dzongkhags.

RBP carried out various measures to prevent crimes, such as pledges and crime reduction competitions carried out during the Police Raising Day on September1. Last year, Wangduephodrang won the competition for drop in the crime record.

The other measures include the sensitization programs conducted by RBP in various schools. According to RBP, 70 schools including 83052 students and 1420 teachers were sensitized under the program. There were also 12696 parents sensitized under the program with support from the schools.

RBP also conducted road shows and awareness programs on domestic violence in Thimphu, Tsirang, Punakha and Wangdue. The program could not be conducted across the country due to fund shortage.

During the summer and winter seasons, RBP welcomes school children to join the Police Youth Partnership Program (PYPP) and the autumn and spring seasons are geared towards the Police and Out of School Youth Partnership Programs (POSYPP).

According to RBP, PYPP with 5726 students as members, running in its 11th phase, is the most successful program. POSYPP is in the fifth phase with 243 members. The programs are conducted in various dzongkhags with high crime rates, such as Thimphu, Paro, Chukha and in Wangdue.

The ambitious project, Friends of Police (FOP) has an objective to draw in 50% of population as registered members. FOP, an initiative that started in 1 September 2012, has 985 members as of now. FOP hopes to reach one thousand members by the end 2015. Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said RBP has also launched a web-based database where individuals wishing to join PYPP and FOP can register themselves online.

To reach the police services right to the doorstep of the rural communities, RBP has also launched the Mobile Community Police (MCP) in the 20 dzongkhags. Currently, 55 gewogs have set up MCPs and is set to reach to 75 gewogs by this fiscal year.

In measures to boost the police service orientation, the Police Outposts will also be converted into Community Police Centers. As of now, RBP has set up 10 CPCs as a pilot project, six in Thimphu, one each in Nobding, Kanglung, Dawakha and Drugyel.

As a pilot project, RBP has also set up a neighborhood watch program in Pelrithang, Gelephu. Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said that the initiative is to form as many FOPs and community members as possible in the area and strengthen its security.

He added there will be a subsequent launch of neighborhood watch programs in other districts and in areas under the jurisdiction of CPCs.

The Safe City Solution, Nu 90mn project, in Thimphu will place CCTVs (closed circuit television) cameras in areas around the city, increase intensive night patrolling, involvement of communities in securing their areas through neighborhood watch-mobile community police, and use of modern technology to solve crimes.

The Royal Bhutan Police, a key law enforcement agency, was founded by His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in 1965.



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