POCSO cases conviction remains low: Bengaluru police

Bengaluru: Though city has seen a marginal dip in the number cases registered under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) in the current year, compared with past two years, the detection and conviction rates continue to remain low.

In the six months of this year, the police have registered a total number of 181 POCSO cases, with the north division leading the chart.

According to the statistics maintained by the City Crime Records Bureau (CCRB), of the 181 POCSO cases registered between January and June this year, 171 have been detected.

While the number of POCSO cases were 401 and 315 in 2017 and 2016 respectively, the detected cases were 386 and 312.

Sadly the rate of the undetected case is also increasing from just three in 2016 to 15 in 2017 and 10 in the six months of 2018.

The Bengaluru north and south divisions continue to remain notorious for the most number of POCSO cases in last two years and this year also it is no different.

Of total 181 cases registered in the city in last six months, the north division alone recorded 48 POCSO cases, followed by south division (33) and south-east (22). The central division, however, recorded the lowest number of POCSO case in last six months with seven cases.

In the year 2017 and 2016, the number of POCSO cases recorded in the north division were 101 and 68, respectively, while the south division it was 48 in 2017 and 52 in 2016. The Central division turned out to be the safest for children with just 17 cases being recorded in 2017 and 13 in 2016.

However, the police believe the dip in POCSO cases was due to the strong detection rate with over 95 per cent of the cases being detected and sent to court for the trial.

While they believe effective awareness and detection rate created fear of law in the minds of the accused, the low conviction rate was discouraging.

A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, told Deccan Chronicle that the cracking of POCSO cases are often challenging as they have to deal with children of age as low as one to two years, who were already undergoing trauma.

“Despite the fact that the perpetrators were known to the victims in many cases, either the victim refuses to identify the culprit out of fear and testify against the accused or cannot recollect and narrate the incident properly. Moreover, the parents of the victims, most of the time, fear social stigma and opt out of the legal proceedings. In most of the cases the police with the help of psychiatrists encourage such victims to speak up and also encourage their parents to lodge a complaint,” he said.

However, the awareness campaigns by police and NGOs in schools and colleges is proving effective with children speaking up about sexual harassment they have undergone. 

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