Don’t believe crime stats about India

chart close up data desk
Photo by Lukas on

All those statistics about crime rates, and the television shows about them, about crime infested areas, or safest cities, just forget them. They aren’t accurate.

This article in The Wire explains it well. Crimes which are actually reported are the tip of the iceberg. Why don’t people report crimes? For many reasons. One, because the common people do not trust the police to help. They might think that bribes will be taken from the criminals, or that the police will not register the complaint.

Does this mean that crime stats which are compiled are based on reported crimes? Oh no. The truth is that even amongst the crimes which people actually report, all are not registered. In a bid to show low crime rates, the police feel free to ignore the complaint. Or to give them credit, they attempt to solve some cases without actually registering an FIR. At other times they register the complaint, and this goes in the data base.

So, only a certain number of crimes are registered. These are mostly crimes which are the more serious offences, and those which involve important people. These are the incident which form the so-called crime statistics.

The more feudalistic the area is, the more corrupt it is, the more under reporting there will be.

There’s only one thing you can be sure of. Crimes in India are increasing. They will continue to increase – for various reasons. Right now I can think of three:

  1. Under reporting of crimes –  This is equivalent to ignoring criminal incidents. Specifically, ignoring petty crimes which turns offenders into career criminals, with no fear of the law. Their crimes keep escalating as they move up in the criminal hierarchy.
  2. Poor justice system – more on this in another post.
  3. Lack of scientific techniques used in investigating. This has been briefly addressed in this post – Why the Accused get away.

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