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NCRB 2022 Report on Crime in India

Context:

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released its annual report on crime in India for the year 2022. The report is a compilation of data on reported crime from across the country, and provides the big picture of broad trends in crime registration.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Overview of 2022 NCRB Report
  2. Shortcomings in NCRB’s Crime Data
  3. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

Overview of 2022 NCRB Report:

  • Total Registered Crimes: The 2022 NCRB report indicates a total of 58,24,946 cognizable crimes, comprising 35,61,379 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes and 22,63,567 Special & Local Laws (SLL) crimes.
  • Comparison with 2021: This represents a decrease of 4.5% in the registration of cases compared to the previous year, which was the second year of the pandemic in 2021.
  • Crime Rate: The crime rate, calculated as crimes registered per lakh population, declined from 445.9 in 2021 to 422.2 in 2022. This measure is considered more informative as it accounts for population changes.
  • Crimes Against Women: In 2022, there were 4,45,256 cases of crimes against women, marking a 4% increase from the 2021 figures. The majority of these crimes under IPC sections included Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives (31.4%), Kidnapping & Abduction of Women (19.2%), and Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty (18.7%).
  • Cybercrime Reporting: Reporting of cybercrime saw a significant increase of 24.4 percentage points compared to 2021, with 65,893 cases reported. Fraud accounted for around 64.8% of these cases, followed by extortion (5.5%) and sexual exploitation (5.2%).
  • Suicide Cases: There was a 4.2% increase in reported suicides in 2022, totaling 1,70,924 suicides. Leading causes included Family Problems (other than marriage-related problems) (31.7%), Marriage Related Problems (4.8%), and Illness (18.4%). The male-to-female ratio of suicide victims was 71.8 : 28.2.
  • Charge Sheeting Rate: States and Union Territories (UTs) reporting the highest charge sheeting rates under IPC crimes included Kerala (96.0%), Puducherry (91.3%), and West Bengal (90.6%). This rate signifies the percentage of cases where the police proceeded to frame charges against the accused out of the total true cases.

Shortcomings in NCRB’s Crime Data

  • Registered vs. Actual Crime Incidence:
    • The NCRB data only reflects crimes that have been reported, not all crimes that have occurred.
      • Example: The spike in reported crimes against women in Delhi post-2012 may mirror the growing awareness for crime reporting rather than an actual rise in crime rates.
  • Principal Offence Rule Application:
    • The most severe crime in an FIR dictates the classification.
    • Consequently, crimes like ‘Rape’ in a ‘Murder with Rape’ case are not individually counted, leading to potential statistical underrepresentation.
  • Local-Level Data Submission Issues:
    • Data submitted from the local level to NCRB can contain inaccuracies due to local recording practices.
    • For instance, the recorded motive for a suicide is subjective to the understanding of the officer on the scene.
  • Omission of Socio-Economic Crime Factors:
    • The NCRB acknowledges the exclusion of socio-economic factors influencing crime from its data.
  • Barriers to Crime Reporting:
    • Fear of negative police interaction may deter some from reporting crimes.
    • Additionally, police staff shortages and vacancies can further impede data collection efforts.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

Establishment and Affiliation:

  • Formed in 1986, the NCRB is a branch of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, following recommendations from the 1977 National Police Commission and a 1985 Task Force.

Data Collection and Analysis:

  • The agency is tasked with gathering and scrutinizing crime statistics as outlined by the Indian Penal Code and various Special and Local Laws.

Functional Role:

  • The NCRB functions as a central archive supporting crime investigation.
  • It maintains a comprehensive database of fingerprints for both Indian and international offenders, aiding in the identification of criminals across state lines.
  • In 2009, it took on the role of overseeing the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) initiative.
  • The 2017 inception of the National Digital Police Portal furthered its capabilities, facilitating police access to the CCTNS and providing public services like online complaint registration.

Publications:

  • The bureau is known for its “Crime in India” report, a significant and respected annual publication.
  • It also releases the “Prisons Statistics India Report” among others.

Report Compilation Process:

  • The data for NCRB reports are sourced from the police departments of 36 states and Union Territories in India.
  • Additionally, crime statistics for 53 cities, each with a population over 10 lakh according to the 2011 Census, are compiled by corresponding state-level crime record offices.

-Source: The Hindu


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