The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has ranked Chennai sixth, based on incidence, in crimes committed by juveniles in the IPC and special and local laws (SLL) category.
Child rights experts claim that the reason for this is the arrest of youngsters below 18 years in various protests that took place in the city, traffic related and elopement cases.
According to the NCRB, the number of crime committed by juveniles shot up to 391 in 2016 from 270 in 2015 and 263 in 2014. “Among the reason for this increase is the number of cases filed against those below 18 during the bus day clash and Jallikattu protests and elopement cases,” said Girija Kumarababu, general secretary, Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW).
Stating that at least 20% of the 391 cases pertain to traffic related crimes, she said that parents and schools should not encourage children to use motorised vehicles.
“The Education Department had sent out a circular on the same issue, but it is no longer followed,” she said.
Second in theft cases
However, the incidents of juveniles getting involved in crime seems to be high in the city. With a total of 307 cases, the city ranks second in terms of thefts committed by juveniles. Delhi tops the list with 766 cases.
“Most of them are cases of cellphone snatching. Children in the age group of 12 to 16 are involved in the crime or are made to by some elders. Each phone is sold for ₹1,000,” she added.
A senior police officer said that juveniles are getting involved in chain snatching cases too.
“Most often they ride pillion and snatch the chain from pedestrians. The money from the loot is used to purchase narcotic substances,” he said.
The NCRB data shows that a total of 485 juveniles have been apprehended in 2016. Out of this, 283 children live with their parents, 70 live with their guardians and 132 are homeless.