A steep increase in crimes by juveniles in seven Indian states.
There has been an increasing trend of juveniles, especially those below 16 years to get involved in criminal activities. Seven states in India of which Madhya Pradesh is number one, have seen a steep increase in crimes by juveniles. The most vicious attacker in the Nirbhaya Case was a juvenile who escaped the death penalty with a three years reform home.
Many of the juveniles who commit such heinous crimes are fully aware of the loopholes in the justice system which they can exploit to the fullest. Data from the National Judicial Data Grid and National Crime Record Bureau reveals that in 2020 there were 29,768 incidents of crime in which 74,124 juveniles were involved. Most of the Juveniles involved were below the age of 16. The crimes included dacoit, murder, loot, theft and even terror-related offence.
There has been a trend in some states to use juveniles for kidnapping, extortion and other crimes. In 2020, there were 700 kidnappings which were done by juveniles. Juveniles were involved in more than 6000 thefts. Most of the Juveniles who were involved in different crimes did not have education beyond primary school.
Another fact that was revealed was 99% of the Juveniles who were apprehended were boys as per the 2018 ‘Crime in India’ report. Another revelation was the majority of crimes committed by juveniles were IPC related cases affecting human bodies and property. The crimes included wounds, severe wounds, and assault on women’s modesty, rape and murder.
The majority of the crimes committed by juveniles were offences affecting the human body and property. Property related offences were also committed by juveniles. Theft, burglary and robbery also accounted for sizeable criminal offences committed by juveniles.
Sexual offences which come under the purview recently enacted POSCO act has seen a fall since 2016. However, a disturbing trend that has been revealed is that 45% of the juveniles involved in crimes were educated till Higher Secondary and matriculation. Psychologists call it the adolescent trap where the juvenile who is becoming mature is unable to control his libido or emotions.
Talking about family background, the NCRB report revealed 85% of the Juveniles involved were living with their parents. This went against the general myth that Juvenile who committed crimes came from troubled or broken homes. Only 9% lived with their guardians and only 6% were homeless. In 15 years, the number of crimes committed by juveniles increased by 65%. However, the POSCO act has led to a fall in sexual crimes by Juveniles and this is a positive effect of the act.