Capturing crime — on the NCRB data for 2016 

Capturing crime — on the NCRB data for 2016 

Context

NCRB Data for 2016

Author’s contention

The National Crime Records Bureau data for 2016 on two important aspects, violent crime and crime against women, should prompt State governments to make a serious study of the underlying causes

Data

Not all States are equally affected from violent crimes and crimes against women

  • Uttar Pradesh and Bihar record the maximum number of murders
  • The national tally on crimes against women, which includes rape, abduction, assault and cruelty by husband and relatives, is up by 2.9% over that of 2015
  • There is a distinct urban geography as well for violence against women, with Delhi and Mumbai appearing the least safe: Delhi recorded a rate of crime that is more than twice the national average
  • Murder rate akin to 1950s: The murder rate today has declined to the level prevailing in the 1950s, which was 2.7 per 100000 people, after touching a peak of 4.62 in 1992
    • Regional variations: But that macro figure conceals regional variations, witnessed in U.P. and Bihar, where 4,889 and 2,581 murder incidents took place during 2016, respectively, while it was 305 in densely populated Kerala.

Reduction in crime

  • Public places should be made safer for women
  • Educating juveniles: A focussed programme to universalise education and skills training would potentially keep juveniles from coming into conflict with the law
  • Modernizing the police, recruiting the right candidates and teaching them to uphold human rights will also help
  • The orders of the Supreme Court on police reforms issued in 2006 have not been implemented in letter and spirit by all States. They should be implemented precisely
  • Elimination of political interference in the working of police. This would lead to a reduction in crimes committed with impunity and raise public confidence in the criminal justice delivery system

Data improvement

As a measure of data improvement, it should be mandatory to record not just the principal offence in a case, as the NCRB does, and list all cognizable offences separately

Conclusion

Rather than view the available data passively, governments would do well to launch serious studies that result in policies and measures for freedom from violence

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