Crime In India Major Road Block To Economic Growth
Crime in India is a major impediment to economic growth and development that discourage long-term investment and new employment opportunities. As per the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report, total crimes in India declined by 7.6 per cent to 61 lakh in 2021. Crime rate registered per lakh population has declined to 445.9 in 2021 from 487.8 in 2020.
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) defined crimes declined by 13.9 per cent to 36.6 lakh while Special & Local Laws (SLL) crimes increased marginally by 3.7 per cent to 24.3 lakh. Interestingly, Special and Local Laws deal with a specific subject enacted by the Parliament or a state, while IPC crimes deal with crimes that are clearly defined and characterised into specific buckets.
The SBI report said, “If we dig deeper, SLL crimes were mostly concentrated in liquor and gambling related issues across states. The analysis reveals that there is concentration of crimes with top five states accounting for 52 per cent of total crime reported. However, the good thing is that situation has improved in certain states with significant reduction in total crimes in recent times.”
The IPC crimes declined by 13.9 pc to 36.6 lakh while Special and Local Laws (SSL) crimes increased marginally by 3.7 pc to 24.3 lakh. IPC crimes decline in India was largely due to huge decline (by 47.4 pc to 3.2 lakh) in the cases registered under Disobedience to order duly promulgated by Public Servant (Sec. 188 IPC).
Lack of economic growth in connection with high economic and social inequality tends to increase levels of crime and violence. However, the connections between economic development and crime are not the same everywhere.
“We endeavoured to see the link between crime prevalence and economic growth. Using state-wise data (for 21 major states) of real GSDP growth (last 5-year average) and Crime Rate (calculated as Crime Incidence per one lakh of population) for 2021, we estimated that there is negative correlation between crime rate and GSDP growth in most of the states. Though there are some exceptions also (i.e. showing contradictory relationship),” It said.
According to the studies, low crime incidence leads to higher growth in nine states (out of 21 states) while in 7 states low crime and low growth is positively connected. Kerala is the only state in our analysis where low economic growth coincides with high crime prevalence.
According to the experts, one would expect that high crime level to result in lower investment as there is an increase in expected cost resulting from crime which diminishes private investment. State wise data of crime rate and growth in number of new project announcements in FY22 compared to FY21 also shows negative correlation of 0.36.
Interestingly, Gujarat and Maharashtra accounted for 28 per cent of the total number of projects announced and 33 per cent of the total investment amount announced in FY22.
Crime Rate And Female Worker Population Ratio
Crime against women also increased in 2021 by 15.3 per cent to 4.3 lakh cases against 3.7 lakh cases in 2020. Majority of cases under crime against women under IPC were registered under ‘Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives’ (31.8 per cent) followed by ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’ (20.8%), ‘Kidnapping & Abduction of Women’ (17.6%) and ‘Rape’ (7.4%). The crime rate registered per lakh women population increased to 64.5 in 2021 compared to 56.5 in 2020.
It is normally presumed that women are safer in metro cities or police is more active or efficient in metro cities. But the data reveals a different story. While the crime against women in India increased by 15.3 per cent to 4.3 lakh in 2021, it has increased by 22.9 per cent to 43,414 in 19 metro cities.
Delhi accounted for one-third of crimes committed in metros followed by Mumbai and Bengaluru. The top three metros have a share of 52 per cent in crimes against women among 19 metros. The efficiency of police in disposal of cases is indicated by charge sheeting rate (means percentage of cases charge sheeted out of total true cases).