Nearly 100 more crimes took place per million people in 2017 compared to the previous year (2016), though heinous crimes such as murders and rapes came down, shows a recently-released national data on crime.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Monday released data on crime in 2017 with a massive lag of more than a year. Crimes rose from 3,793 per million in 2016 to 3,886 per million in 2017.
Crime rate under state laws that pertain mostly to prohibition, narcotics, excise, electricity-related ones and gambling rose faster than crimes under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
IPC crime incidence also rose, with crimes such as kidnapping, attempt to murder on the rise, per million population.
The incidence of rapes per million population has reduced, but women are becoming more unsafe over time, with the overall crime rate rising every year.
Among states, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal showed a reduction in crime rates, while most others witnessed a rise. Theft are rising the fastest.
The crime rate in Delhi rose by 8 per cent in a year – the fastest among states – to 11,500 crimes reported per million Delhiites.
Nearly three million IPC crimes and two million crimes under state laws were recorded in 2017. But this is an understatement, the report itself notes.
“The actual count of each crime per head may be underreported. This is because among many offences registered in a single FIR, only the most heinous crime (maximum punishment) will be considered as a counting unit,” the report notes.
In a first, crimes pertaining to communal violence were not compiled by the bureau this time.
Incidence of rioting reduced from 53 crimes per million people in 2014 to 46 per million people in 2017.
Incidence of kidnapping and abduction, on the other hand, rose from 62 per million to 74 per million.
The absolute number of reported crimes do not take the rise in population into account. An absolute rise may mean reduction in crime rate if the population has risen faster in the same period.
In a disturbing trend, crime rate against women went up again, continuing the trend observed in the past. Cases of rapes reduced from 63 per million people in 2016, to 52 per million in 2017.
Crimes under state laws are rising fast, courtesy a massive rise in crime rate under state electricity and excise laws.
Crime rate under the electricity laws mostly pertain to electricity theft and line sabotage.