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Perceptions of public security and crime in the Kathmandu Valley


Recent media reports suggest a growing trend of criminal violence, especially in the Kathmandu Valley, the largest urban area in Nepal. However, little research has been undertaken to understand what factors are fuelling crime, violence and insecurity.

This research seeks to take the first step in filling this information gap, and provide an initial analysis of different stakeholders’ perceptions of crime, violence and insecurity at the community level in the Kathmandu Valley in the post-conflict era. It aims primarily to inform policy and programming of key stakeholders involved in public security, crime and conflict prevention in Kathmandu Valley, and to stimulate a discussion that might lead to more in-depth research and analysis being carried out. Findings are largely drawn from the perceptions and attitudes of communities, security agencies, civil society, government and the private sector gathered through focus group discussions and interviews, but also secondary data, such as media reports and police crime statistics where relevant.

The key findings outlined in this briefing, based on the perceptions of research participants, include:

1) the continued role that political youth wings play in undermining security in the post-conflict era,

2) a growth in the prevalence of organised crime,

3) threats to personal safety posed by an increase in randomly targeted violent crime,

4) emergence of newly formed criminal groups  

5) tensions between ‘original’ inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley and ‘rural-urban migrants which are undermining people’s perceptions of public security.


The briefing is available in English and Nepali.

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Date: February 2012
Author: Ojaswi Shah
Publisher: Saferworld
Language: English, Nepali
Region: Asia
Country: Nepal

We have identified more than 102 goondas [hooligans] who disrupt our district’s law and order and almost all of them are politically affiliated. They disrupt our business through bandahs, target business people for abduction and kidnapping, incite trade unions and communities to protest unnecessarily and demand large sums of money in the name of ‘donations’.

Entrepeneur, Sindhupalchok, Nepal

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