Coronavirus shutdown leads to sharp drop in recorded crime in Dhaka

  • Liton Haider, Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-03-30 04:36:01 BdST

bdnews24

Police generally produce more than 200 arrestees in the Chief Metropolitan Magistrates Court of Dhaka in a day, but the number dropped to 26 on Sunday amid a nationwide shutdown over a coronavirus outbreak.

Two magistrates bailed some of the arrestees, including two women, and refused the others, Sub-Inspector Shahidul Islam, a policeman working at the court’s lockup, told bdnews24.com.

“The rate of crimes has dropped because even the criminals are not leaving home due to the coronavirus,” said Zafar Hossain, deputy commissioner of Court Police.

The law enforcers, with very few cases lodged at the 51 police stations, are now busy keeping people at home to stem the outbreak.

A majority of the accused sent from police stations to court are arrested under the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Ordinance for suspicious activities, encroachment or gambling.

Shah Ali Police Station OC Salauddin Mia said the DMP Ordinance is not being enforced much during the shutdown.

“The situation is different now. The streets are empty,” he said.

No one filed any case at his station on Saturday and Sunday, he said.

DMP officials said the police stations in the capital usually register three cases daily on an average on different charges like mugging, theft, drugs, fighting or repression of women.

OCs of 10 of these police stations said the situation changed in past three to four days.

They said police arrested very few people, most of whom are accused in old cases.

No case was started with Pallabi Police in past two days either.

“We are emphasising work to raise awareness about coronavirus now,” Pallabi Police chief Nazrul Islam said.

Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station registered two cases over fighting and repression of women on Saturday and Sunday.

“But we are not busy [busting crimes] like other days,” OC Jan-e-Alam Munshi told bdnews24.com.