Crime rates have dropped in the capital as Covid-19 has kept people inside, with murder cases falling by 66 percent.
Furthermore, as the anti-drug drives of the law enforcement agencies have almost come to a halt now, the number of drug-related cases have also come down dramatically.
However, the tenant-landlord conflict has intensified during this crisis, as indicated by case records, from last year to the first four months in this year, of eight crime units under 50 police stations of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
DMP Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Md Shah Abid Hossain said, "During the ongoing health emergency, police are focusing on tackling Covid-19. However, regular crime monitoring is going on. The criminals cannot be spared in any way."
Talking to several officials of DMP's crime units, it was learned that not only did crime rates drop in Dhaka metropolis, but also the number of service recipients in the police station fell. No one is coming to the police station now unless it is urgent.
Abdulla Hil Kafi, additional deputy commissioner (ADC) of DMP Ramna Division, told The Business Standard, "Since measures were put into place to slow the spread of the virus, people have been staying home. And financial transactions and interest-related activities are not taking place as 'business as usual'. So, the crime rate has nosedived.
"However, conflicts between the landlords and tenants have increased. Investigations into altercations between landlords and tenants have shown that both parties are to blame in some cases," Kafi added.
But some law enforcers say that if this situation lingers, there is a chance of a surge in crime rates in the country. Many people, who have been out of work and have no food, may get involved in crime.
Also, no drives are being conducted to catch petty criminals now due to the ongoing crisis. But these criminals may become reckless if they are let loose.
DMP sources said, about 33,000 cases were filed in 50 DMP police stations in the last year and the first four months this year. So, an average of 2,200 cases have been recorded every month. But last April, 349 cases were recorded, showing an 84 percent fall in case records.
Earlier, from January 2019 to March this year, there were 2,901 incidents of rape, acid attack and torture of women and children. In these 15 months, an average of 197 cases were filed about abuse of women and children. But in April this year, only 49 cases were filed, marking a 75 percent drop in such criminal cases.
There have been 269 murders in Dhaka last year and in the first four months of this year. So, there have been 18 murders on average every month. But in April this year, there were only six reported murders.
DMP officials said that there have been fewer complaints due to Covid-19. However, those with problems are reporting their complaints over the phone and seeking legal advice.