Time to plug crime rate and make Goa safe place for all  

Overall crime rates in Goa have jumped 27 per cent higher in 2020 in comparison to 2019; the rape statistics of NCRB also worrying


Goa is fast becoming a destination for crime rather than tourism as per the latest statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau. 

A cursory glance reveals that Goa has infamously recorded the highest percentage of human trafficking cases at 2.1 per cent which is far above the national average of 0.1 per cent. For a State considered as India’s tourism capital, it’s an ignominious distinction that Goa’s rape statistics of 7.8 per cent is also above the national average of 4.3 per cent. With tourism being a pillar of our economy, such dubious distinction of not being women-friendly will affect the tourism business detrimentally. If these tendencies aren’t tackled urgently with a strong sociopolitical thrust, the day will not be far when tourist footfalls will stop reverberating in Goa. 

The rape statistics become even more concerning when it is revealed that 68 per cent of the victims are minor girls. This speaks volumes about our social degradation and is a reflection of our insensitive mindsets that allow such high levels of child rapes in Goa to go unnoticed until the national agency brings it to our notice. The permeation of drug and porn culture, moral decadence and societal degradation combined with the weakening of law enforcement are taking its toll on our girls and women. 

It’s time we look inward with shame and take steps at family and social levels as responsible citizens to ensure the safety of our womenfolk. The Government on the other hand needs to introspect on its failures and ensure preventive and punitive precautions against the social evil of rape. 

Overall crime rates in Goa have jumped 27 per cent higher in 2020 in comparison to 2019. Crime against children is at 32.7 per cent which again is higher than the national average of 28.9 per cent. Law and order seem to be almost non-existent in Goa. Even foreigners are emboldened to commit blatant crimes in Goa taking advantage of the deteriorating law and order situation. Narcotics-related crimes by foreign gangs have become common in Goa due to enforcement laxity.

Robbery, cheating, violence, murders, cyber crimes are all witnessing unhealthy growth making Goa unsafe for locals as well as tourists. The fact that Goa has attained these humiliatingly high records in crime despite being one of the smallest States in the country brings into question the governance and overall administrative functioning.

Such monumentally humiliating criminal statistics cast a dark shadow not just on the efficacy of law enforcement agencies but more so on the lack of political willpower to eradicate crime. One cannot be entirely blamed for a political score if it is aspired that there’s a certain degree of political concurrency to crime. 

It is arguable that intelligence networking has been affected as the police force is busy with Covid duties. Intelligence gathering needs to be ramped up to ensure crime prevention. The administrative degeneration of the present Government has caused a lowering of morale amongst the police force. The PI cadre which forms the backbone of the force is denied promotions as DySPs. Promotion of PIs as DySPs ensures better middle level management of policing, intelligence gathering and a public-friendly image. 

The present Government has also demoralized the police by using the force to suppress peaceful protests for valid causes of the environment. Misuse of the force and political interferences in high profile cases of drugs, money laundering, land scams, etc has further affected the morale of the police force and all these factors contribute towards the increasing crime rates in Goa. The end result, we have ended up with the dubious distinction of having all sorts of crime rates above the national average.

Let’s hope that these statistics wake up the State Government to take remedial measures on a war-footing. While the Government must take the maximum responsibility for these heinous crime statistics, we as a society should increase our awareness and strive against such criminal degeneration of Goa.

(The writer is a member of the Goa Legislative Assembly representing Porvorim constituency)

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