Crimes reported in first half of 2014 drop by six percent

The number of crimes reported to the Maldives Police Services in first half of 2014 has dropped by nearly six percent compared to the previous year, police statistics have revealed.

The total number of crimes reported within the first six months of 2013 was 7746, while this year it has come down to 7292 cases.

While there were reductions in all major categories of crimes reported, the most significant drops were seen in counterfeit and forgery case, and domestic violence.

Counterfeit and forgery cases – the least reported category of crime – dropped by nearly 38 percent, from 69 cases in 2013 to 43 in 2014.

The number of domestic violence cases lodged with police fell from 120 in 2013 to just 94 cases in 2014 – a fall of nearly 22 percent.

The number of domestic violence cases lodged at the police annually had been increasing gradually since 2010.

Local women’s NGO Hope For Women last year said the anti-domestic violence legislation enacted in 2012 did very little to improve the situation for victims of such crimes.

The organisation said that while the police were prepared for its implementation, but lack of mechanisms still left the force handicapped.

According to the police statistics, reported sexual offenses cases also dropped from 341 to 316 within the first six months of this year.

Theft – the most reported crime in both years – saw the second greatest reduction, with 3113 cases in 2013 to 2893 cases. Meanwhile, robbery cases increased by more than nine percent.

Drugs, the second most reported crime, dropped by approximately two percent – from 1974 in 2013 to 1929 this year. Assault cases were came down from 659 to 602 cases, while road traffic cases dropped from 1188 to 1156.

Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed has said that reduced number of cases in the first six months was the result of the force’s special efforts to reduce crime with targeted objectives included in the MPS strategic plan and the annual business plan.

A survey published by ‘Transparency Maldives‘ earlier this year revealed a lack of public confidence in state institutions – including the police.

In the survey conducted among 1000 randomly selected individuals, 32 percent stated they had “no confidence at all” in the police, while the same number of individuals said they had a ‘great deal of confidence’ in them.

A UNDP sponsored human rights survey published by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives in 2013 also revealed dissatisfaction with police services.

Approximately 32 percent of respondents were not satisfied with the police services. When asked what it was they were dissatisfied with, they mentioned the failure to deal with crimes, inability to contact in times of need, bias, torture and corruption.