MUMBAI: Are crimes in the city getting more and more brutal? Investigators, including seasoned detectives who have put the mafia behind bars, think so. “The sight of the girl’s dead body in the Madh case made my skin crawl. It was nothing like anything I had seen before. The killer had tried to remove all evidence and mutilated her body in the process. He later turned out to be a first-time offender,” said an investigating officer. Another officer recounted how he was haunted by the sight of the bloody room in Malwani where the bodies of an elderly woman and her grand kids were found. There was blood everywhere — the walls, the floor and the wash-basin.” “Exposure to extreme violence could lead to a copycat phenomenon where after viewing something, it is registered in the viewer’s brain and he then repeats it in his actions,” says clinical psychologist Dr Narendra Kinger. There is easy access to violent content through crime shows on TV, video clips streaming on WhatsApp or action video games where the enemy has to be stabbed repeatedly in order to score more points. “Having sex with a child is a manifestation of high level of mental disturbance,” Dr Kinger adds. Siddhant Ganore’s case has been discussed endlessly in police circles. “It’s probably the first time that a family member has left behind a smiling emoticon in a message using blood of the deceased. The cold-bloodedness has left us numb,” said an officer. “The teen of today is not the teen of yesterday. There is no emotional connect among the younger generation. If one’s demands are not met completely , then the parent or friend becomes an enemy,” says Dr Ruchi Sinha, associate professor, centre for criminology and justice at TISS, adding that many youngsters are unable to withstand the pressure of not being able to perform, either in studies or other aspects of in life. “Social and economic reality have changed and violence in general has increased. But every crime needs to be studied in isolation to find the motivation behind,” Dr Sinha adds. “Everyone in Mumbai is struggling with day-to-day life, be it a teen or an adult. At least 10% to 15% of the population suffers from mental health issues. But there is a lack of awareness. Schools need to sensitise students and train parents to have a balanced approach,” Dr Kinger says.