The authors of this blog are MsGarima Singh and Mr. Sharvin Vats, of 8th Semester, BA LLB(H) students of Galgotias University.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the World with no human-made vaccine and specific treatments are known, the World has resorted to the only known ways to combat this epidemic; they are incomplete lockdown and practicing social distancing. As of April 2020, an estimate of 2.6 billion people was living under some kind of lockdown or quarantine which amounts to a total of one-third of the world population[1]As this pandemic is sweeping around the globe, we can see all the natural and obvious reactions of people like stress, anxiety, depression, fear of life, failure of medical machinery, etc. But as the old, the saying goes “Every coin has two sides”, it’s time to see the other side of this coin.

Reduced crime rate
The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown has actually helped in the reduction of crime rates across the world. India has experienced a significant reduction in the total death tolls since the implementation of lockdown from March 25th, 2020. Murder, suicide, dacoity, robbery, kidnapping, extortion and chain snatching, etc. are the crimes showing a steep reduction in India.

·         Delhi
As per the Delhi police database, a total of only 1890 crimes are reported in the National Capital this year as compared to last year’s 3416. This shows a huge decrease of 44% of the crime rate. A tremendous the downfall of 50% in the crime rates is recorded between March 15th to March 31st for most crimes and a reduction of 80% is seen in a few other crimes[2]The drone surveillance done by the patrol forces has resulted in a total reduction of 50% in the crime rates earlier happening in the residential areas. This is being done to ensure that people remain indoors and when they will remain indoors, crime rates will naturally take a downfall. Another astonishing depletion is recorded for molestation of women with just 72 cases this year as compared to a total of 144 cases the previous year[3]The incidents of fights have also gone low by 65% this a year and the crimes against the older people have also taken a dip since all the people are indoors[4].

·         Mumbai
Mumbai so far has witnessed  8 murders in the month of April with only 17 robberies in comparison to a total of 80 robberies in February. Meanwhile, the theft cases in the city dropped from 483 cases in February to a total of only 34 in April. Furthermore, more 66 break-ins were seen as compared to 142 in February. A surprisingly low number of 84 motor thefts were recorded in April against 202 in the month of February[5].

Another shining figure of 89 cases was registered in April compared to a whole lot more of 559 cases in February of crimes against women. A total number of 84 police stations in Mumbai recorded no cases of chain snatching. Dacoity has also been eliminated in the city during this period which means no cases have been registered[6].

·         Kerala
Kerala is the most benefitted State in India due to this lockdown in terms of reduced crime rates. There has been a 40% fall in the murder cases within the period of first lockdown itself i.e. March 25th to April 14th. Surprisingly, Kerala witnessed a 100% reduction in the cases of violence against women and children with a steep fall of 70% in rape cases. Suicides came down from 445 to only 192 cases whereas the toll of unnatural deaths has reduced to 630 from being as high as 1052 during this period last year. Following comes the accident fatalities to 105 as compared to last year's 1787. Only 8 murders are committed during this period while there were 13 murders in the same period last year. Subsequently, the missing person cases have reduced to 132 from 851[7].

·         Telangana
The State of Telangana as per the data of IE has only registered 6923 cases of crimes while this figure was 16942 cases during the same period if March and April last year.

·         Assam
Assam’s Nagaon district has witnessed a reduction of 7-10% in the road accidents and a fall in the crimes likes highway robbery, drug smuggling, murders, and money scratching. Whereas in Imphal West district of Manipur, there has been zero FIRs of crimes likes murder, assault or road accidents[8].

Clean environment
Apart from the reduced crime rate in India, this pandemic the lockdown has literally resulted in the improvement of the country’s air and water quality. Almost all the major cities have experienced a drastic improvement in the air pollution index. The less pollution, the more people will be out of the claws of pollution-related diseases and subsequently increasing the immunity of the people to fight in this pandemic.

·         Air
On the first day of lockdown itself, March 22 widely known as Janta Curfew day a significant dip in the air pollution levels was recorded throughout the country. The Air Quality Index was only within two digits in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Lucknow. On the same day, Delhi had 126 micrograms per cubic meter of air pollutants at 1 AM and were halved within 22 hours at 1 PM[9].
Within less than a month, the air pollution in the country was so less than a view of the Dhualadhar mountain range was visible on the morning of April 3rd, was seen by the people of Jalandhar, Punjab. It is important to note that these mountains are nearly 213 kilometers away from Jalandhar[10].

·         Water
This lockdown has also proved a blessing to the highly populated water bodies and rivers Ganga and Yamuna which have shown an impressive amount of reduction in the pollutants present in them. The average water quality of 27 points is seen in Ganga as per the real-time water monitoring data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)[11].

To conclude, it may not be wrong to say this lockdown has once again proved that the biggest threat to this planet Earth is it’s inhabitants only. Within merely two months with negligible Human movement, the environment has started to rejuvenate again. The reduced crime rate is indeed a blessing to the country’s judicial system and would help in the reduction of pendency of cases. Although these unintended gains would be a blessing in the true sense only if the current figures remain stable and change for the good in the post lockdown India.

[1]Lockdown is the world’s biggest psychological experiment – and we will pay the price, available at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/this-is-the-psychological-side-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-that-were-ignoring/ (last visited on May 15,2020).
[2]BusinessToday.In, “Coronavirus lockdown: Crimes in Delhi drop by 80% as people stay indoors”, Business Today, April 4,2020available at https://m.businesstoday.in/lite/story/coronavirus-lockdown-crimes-in-Delhi-drop-by-80-as-people-stay-indoors/1/400142.html (last visited on May 15,2020)
[3]Id. at 3.
[4]Id. at 4.
[5]FE Online, “Lockdown upside: India records significant drop in deaths, crimes, say reports”, Finance Express, April 30,2020 available at https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/lockdown-upside-india-records-significant-drop-in-deaths-crime-says-report/1944434/lite/(last visited on May 15,2020)
[6]Id. at 5.
[7]Id. at 6.
[8]Id. at 5.
[9]“Coronavirus impact I Air quality improves in India, finally”, available at https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/policy/coronavirus-impact-air-quality-improves-in-india-but-will-it-prevent-climate-change-5067011.html(last visited on May 15,2020).
[10]“How is COVID-19 impacting the environment around us”, available at https://www.investindia.gov.in/team-india-blogs/how-covid-19-impacting-environment-around-us(last visited on May 15,2020).
[11]Id. at 10