Human Rights

Based on data and statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), the PRS Legislative Research has come out with a report. The key findings of the report entitled Police Reforms in India (June 2017), which has been authored by Anviti Chaturvedi are as follows (please click here to access):

• An expert committee under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has noted in its report (entitled Report of the Committee on Crime Statistics, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2012) that there is significant under-reporting of crimes under the NCRB for various reasons. For example, there could be suppression of data and low registration of crimes because the police know that their work is judged on the basis of this information. Also, sometimes victims of crime may decide against reporting the incident with the police because they are afraid to approach the police, or think the crime is not serious enough, etc. Also, note that the NCRB follows the ‘principal offence rule’ for counting crime. This means that if many offences are covered in a single registered criminal case, the NCRB will only count the most heinous of the offences. For instance, a case of murder and rape, will only be counted as a case of murder (i.e. principal offence) by the NCRB.

• Police personnel discharge a range of functions related to: (i) crime prevention and response (e.g., intelligence collection, patrolling, investigation, production of witnesses in courts), (ii) maintenance of internal security and law and order (e.g., crowd control, riot control, anti-terrorist or anti-extremist operations), and (iii) various miscellaneous duties (e.g., traffic management, disaster rescue and removal of encroachments). Each police officer is also responsible for a large segment of people, given India’s low police strength per lakh population as compared to international standards. While the United Nations recommended standard is 222 police per lakh persons, India’s sanctioned strength is 181 police per lakh persons. After adjusting for vacancies, the actual police strength in India is at 137 police per lakh persons. Therefore, an average policeman ends up having an enormous workload and long working hours, which negatively affects his efficiency and performance.

• In 2015, the National Crime Records Bureau recorded over 73 lakh complaints of cognizable crimes. Cognizable crimes are relatively serious offences for which police officers do not need a warrant from the magistrate to investigate, such as murder and rape. Between 2005 and 2015, crime rate (i.e., crime per lakh population) for cognizable crimes has increased by 28% from 456 complaints per lakh persons to 582 per lakh persons. This has been primarily because of increase in crime rates of alcohol-prohibition crime, theft, kidnapping and abduction, crimes against women and cheating.

 


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