NEW DELHI: Crime in India increased by 4.9% in 2010 with relatively smaller cities like Kochi, Bhopal and Indore reporting higher crime rate – number of crimes per lakh of population – compared to biggies like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
The capital, however, reported the highest number of ‘rape’ cases (414) followed by Mumbai (194) among 35 ‘mega’ cities in the country.
These mega cities, having population of over 10 lakh, collectively reported 3,68,883 crimes under the Indian Penal Code in 2010, a rise of 7.3% compared to 3,43,749 crimes in 2009. Although the official crime figures – released by home minister P Chidambaram for the year 2010 on Thursday – showed the usual trends of increase in most crime incidents in India, cases of new age cyber crime jumped substantially by 89.9% last year compared to 2009. Among states, UP accounted for the highest 33.9% of the total crime reported in India last year followed by Andhra Pradesh (13.9%) and TN (11.4%). Overall, the country reported 22,24,831 crimes in 2010 compared to 21,21,345 such incidents in 2009.
Crimes against Schedule Castes (SC), however, declined by 2.6%. Compared to 33,594 cases of crimes against SCs in 2009, 32,712 cases were reported in 2010.
Since crime ‘rate’ is universally taken as a realistic indicator because it balances the effect of population growth, its increase in cities like Kochi, Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Jabalpur , Vijaywada, Patna and Vishakhapatnam will throw a new challenge for the respective state governments. Officials attribute this trend to relatively lesser policing in these cities compared to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata.
Interestingly, Dhanbad, Chennai, Madurai and Kolkata were the only four mega cities which reported lesser rate of IPC crimes than their domain states – Jharkhand, TN and West Bengal respectively.
The figures, compiled by the home ministry’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), are widely referred to by policy makers, police personnel , researchers, NGOs and other stake holders. The Bureau comes out with data on crime in India every year.
“The NCRB has planned to bring out the next edition of these reports (covering the Indian crime scene of the year 2011) in the month of April 2012,” a home ministry official said. The bureau hopes that the ongoing ‘Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems’ (CCTNS) – connecting 15,000 police stations and 6,000 other higher police offices in the country – will be rolled out by March next year, making it possible to compile crime figures on time. The figures show that cases of kidnapping and abduction reported highest increase (13.5%) among all ‘violent’ crimes in India followed by robbery (4.4%), rape (3.6%) and murder (3%). Report also has separate chapters on policing and police infrastructure.