Crime statistics reveal 46 percent spike in theft

Cases of theft reported to police last month increased by 46 percent compared to January 2013, according to crime statistics from the Maldives Police Service (MPS).

A total of 623 cases of theft were reported to police in January – an average of 20 cases a day – while 427 cases were reported in the same period last year.

Some 51 cases of theft and four cases of robbery have been reported so far in February.

Cases of robbery also rose from 54 in January 2013 to 88 cases last month.

Reported instances of theft had increased dramatically in 2012 compared to the previous year. While 4,734 cases of theft were reported in 2011, the number rose to 6,572 in 2012 – a 38 percent annual increase.

The figure climbed to 6,681 in 2013.

Robbery and theft currently account for roughly 50 percent of crimes reported to police.

Next to theft, the second highest number of cases reported in January 2014 involved drugs.

The number of drug cases filed last month reached 461, which represents a 56 percent hike compared to January 2013, during which police began investigating 295 cases.

The total number of crimes reported to police meanwhile increased by 20 percent compared with January of last year. While 1,742 cases were reported this year, the figure was 1,436 in January 2013.

Apart from theft, robbery, and drugs, other crimes reported in January this year included 100 cases of assault, 40 cases of sexual offences, 21 cases of domestic violence, six cases of counterfeit and forgery, 49 cases of vandalism, 17 cases of bounced cheques, 44 cases of embezzlement, and 150 lost items reported.

Meanwhile, at 189 cases, traffic accidents declined by eight percent last month compared to the same period in 2013.

Falling thieves

In November 2013, two men died after falling from buildings in the capital Malé during attempted robberies.

On November 15, a 29-year-old died of head injuries sustained in a fall from the fifth floor of the Galolhu Muthi residence.

One day later, a 31-year-old fell from the fourth floor of Henveiru Alikurige while attempting to jump on to the roof of a neighbouring house.

His foot reportedly got caught on an outdoor air-conditioning unit, which came loose and fell on his head.

Both thieves fell to their death while attempting to escape after being caught by the residents.

On January 7, a 27-year-old man fell from the fifth floor of Maafanu Mundhooge after a break-in. He survived the fall with minor injuries after landing on a pile of sand.

Three days later, a 32-year-old woman fell from the fourth floor of Manchangoalhi Light Corner during an alleged robbery attempt.


Police statistics for 2010 show 11 percent fall in cases reported

Annual crime statistics released by the Maldives Police Service show an 11 percent decline in cases reported in 2010, compared with 2009.

The number of cases reached an all-time high in 2009 at 19,259 for the year, with a particularly dramatic spike in crime between 2006 (8560 cases) and 2008 (17674).

A comparison of crimes logged from 2008-2010 shows a general decline in drug offences from 2484 cases in 2008 to 1618 in 2010.

Assaults spiked in 2009 to 2000 cases, but 2010 was on par with 2009 levels with 1638 cases reported.

‘Theft’ remained one of the country’s most reported crimes, and was relatively consistent across the three-year period with 4000 cases reported in 2010.

Reporting of domestic violence cases remained extremely low at just 135 cases in 2010, marking a steady decline.

The number of cases fell across most offences from 2009-2010, with the exception of embezzlement and cheque-bounce offences.

Perhaps responsible for the overall fall in drug-related cases, the 2010 statistics show that the Drug Enforcement Department was one of the most active police bodies last year in terms of filing cases for prosecution, with 844 cases sent to the Prosecutor General – more than double that of any other department.

The North and Upper North Police Divisions filed the most prolific number of cases with the PG’s office at around 260 each, after the Southern Police division’s 437 cases.

Of the atoll police stations, Haa Dhaal Kulhudhufushi filed vastly more cases than any other police station at 574 cases, followed by Seenu Hithadhoo (444) and Seenu Gan (391).

According to the police statistics, stations at Hulhumeedhoo, Rathafandhoo, Faresmaathoda, Guraidhoo, Rasdhoo, Dhuvaafaru, Milandhoo and Hanimaadhoo did not log a single case in 2010.

Crime reported in Male’ was split evening cross the main districts, however at 36 percent of cases Heniveru was recorded as the most crime afflicted.

Most arrests made across the Maldives in 2010 were for drug offences (1153), assault (941) and theft (773), and most of these were first time offenders.

The bulk of those arrested were young men aged between 17-23, while key crimes committed by minors (aged under 18) were assault, theft and drug offences – albeit with an overall decline in 2010 on 2009.

Interestingly, only 138 women were arrested in 2010 compared with nearly 4000 men – 3.5 percent of arrests made. 42 of these women were arrested for ‘sexual offences’.

Overall conviction rates appeared rather low – of the 17854 cases closed, 3323 were sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office. Of these 1108 were sent back, and 776 ended in convictions. Only 75 convictions were recorded from cases begun in 2010.

Read the police annual report (English)