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CSR: Accuracy of India’s Crime Data

crime rate in India

The crime rate in India has seen a marginal increase in 2018. According to government data, the number for cases of murder, abduction, rape, dowry death and fatal accidents has seen a spike compared to last year. However, the accuracy of this data is highly questionable.

According to the Safety Trends and Reporting of Crime survey conducted by IDFC Institute, only 6-8% of victims of theft in four Indian metro cities lodged an FIR with the police. There are no official records for the remaining incidents. In certain cases, victims themselves refrained from approaching the police. In other cases, the police did not make an official registration of the complaints. This is why, the clear picture of the data is not visible.

Apart from this, the annual report provided by National Crime Records Bureau for the number of crimes in Indian cities calculates the number of crimes per lakh people, by taking the number of people mentioned in the latest official census. It does not take the change in population every year into consideration. This is why, there is a sharp fall in crime rate every 10 years when the population is measured. To calculate the crime rate for all the years between 2001 to 2010, the population of 2001 is utilised, till new numbers are available in 2011. This makes the data available quite inaccurate and meaningless.

Another problem that arises in official crime data is the inaccuracy of the report. Where on one hand, some real crimes go unreported, on the other hand, some crimes are officially reported but are misrepresented For example, several parents report that their daughter is kidnapped, who in reality is a consenting adult and has eloped. There are women who report that they have been assaulted by their in-laws, who in reality are looking to gain alimony.

It is easy to make judgments based on the data provided. However, to do that before understanding the accuracy of how the data is curated, is highly unethical. These issues in the data collection methods of the government makes the data available deceptive and incorrect.

It is therefore next to impossible to draw clear conclusions of crime rates in India. However, one thing for sure is that the real situation is nowhere close to what is actually shown in official records.

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The CSR Journal Team


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