Crime Rising Amid Pandemic: Cops blame joblessness, income drop | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:14 AM, July 28, 2020

Crime Rising Amid Pandemic: Cops blame joblessness, income drop

 After a sharp fall in crime rate during the first few days of coronavirus pandemic, crimes like theft, robbery and mugging have recently taken an upward turn.

Police said it was because of the job losses and the decline in earnings of low-income people during the outbreak.

Many of these people have resorted to criminal activities to make a living.

For example, Apel Mahmud, 27, was a street hawker of clothes and seasonal fruits. But he lost his only source of income after the virus hit the country.

A few days later, he started making his wife lure people over the phone into antisocial activities.

When anyone walked into the trap, they would rip him off by confining and torturing him.

Apel allegedly killed a man named Sayed Nagar and dumped the body on June 24 as the latter tried to escape without paying the money.

On July 12, police arrested the couple and one of their accomplices Abdur Rakib, 22, said Mashiur Rahman, deputy commissioner of detective branch (DB) of police.

In a separate incident, DB police arrested a CNG-run autorickshaw driver Shafiqul Islam and his associate Siddique from the capital's 300-feet area.

They were allegedly involved in a mugging gang that used to rob passengers on empty roads during night-time, police said.

Sudip Chakrabarty, deputy commissioner of Gulshan division police, said they had information that the incidents of robbery, burglary, and mugging could rise during this crisis period.

"We have already created special monitoring teams in each police station of the division. These teams have been asked to keep an eye on local thieves and mugging gangs," he recently told The Daily Star.

According to a database of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) headquarters, the number of cases lodged with the 50 police stations under DMP dropped to 351 in April from 2,055 in March.

But the number rose to 518 in May and jumped to 1,177 in June.

DB DC Mashiur Rahman, however, said most of the crimes were committed to arrange money for narcotics addiction.

Shah Iftekhar Ahmed, deputy commissioner of Wari division police, said, "We are on alert and have already increased patrolling and vigilance so that this kind of crime could not take place," said.

Omar Faruk, associate professor of criminology and police science at Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, said the economic crisis during Covid-19 could lead to an increase in property-related crimes and fraudulence.

"Law enforcers should be aware of such crimes and the government should ensure people's economic and social security," he added.


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