THE CRIME SCENARIO AND THE GROUND REALITY THAT EXISTS

Rajendra Dhar
POLICE WATCH INDIA (Regd. NGO).  

We periodically read in News Papers the claims made by Police Chiefs that the crime rate is on the decline and that compared to previous years rape cases are lesser now, that murder cases are on the decline, that property related crimes have gone down drastically, that there is reduction in incidents of financial frauds etc.

However, some criminologists and social commentators contend that, despite the good news these figures seem to represent, there is still reason to be concerned about crime in India. These experts point out that while the overall crime rate is declining to levels not seen since the 1970s, the severity of crimes committed since then is much worse. Road rage shootings, carjackings, and domestic terrorism were practically unheard of then. Now we live in a society where no family is immune to sudden death.” Especially frightening to some are the juvenile offenders who show no fear of the law or mercy toward their victims. These criminals termed as “super-predators,” brutalize, maim, and even kill their victims just for the thrill of it.

The juvenile crime future looks bleak to some criminologists in other ways as well. Population experts predict the number of adolescents will grow. Statistics show that most crimes are committed by male adolescents who learn their behaviour from older criminals. Combining these two trends—an increasing number of violence-prone male adolescents who will learn about crime from older super-predators. These young boys enter their adolescent years and begin their criminal careers, thereby shooting up the crime rate.

Some crime experts contend that the drop in crime rates may be due to deliberate inaccurate record keeping by the police. A study of police reporting procedures across the country throws light on the fact that no two police departments classified crimes exactly in the same way. It has been found that police departments downgrade the classification of some crimes, such as aggravated assault, to a less violent crime, such as simple assault etc. Some times rape cases are diluted and categorized as molestation cases. That police departments do not make written reports (FIR) of most of the crimes reported to them. On the other hand, it has also been discovered that police departments have overrated the seriousness of a crime for obvious reasons. Not reporting crimes or diluting crimes is the order of the day, it has also been discovered that the police more often than not “cook the books” to make themselves and their city look good. Criminologists contend that deliberately not recording crime in no way proves that the crime rate is low and they are further of the opinion that not recording crime is a serious crime by itself and those responsible for it directly as well as indirectly are bigger offenders than the biggest criminals around.

While criminologists insist that female offenders represent only a fraction of the crime perpetrated in our society, the numbers of female criminals appear to be growing. Some act out in male-female teams while many initiate crimes on their own. It has further been observed that more and more women are getting involved in property related crimes/murders, financial frauds etc. because of greed and lust for wealth and this is a disturbing trend.

It is firmly asserted by all criminologists that if the police departments should stop down playing the reality of the crime scenario that exists as down playing facts expose the cooked-up statistics that are being fed to the public by the police departments especially through the print media. Even those who are associated with the print media are fully aware that the statistics that are rattled out before the media by the Police Chiefs do not reflect the reality that exists yet the print media publishes it. Vested interests are the reason for the print media for willingly becoming a party in misleading the public.

POPULATION GROWTH, ECONOMIC DISPARITIES, ERRANT & CORRUPT COPS ETC. ARE THE CAUSES WHICH SPURT THE CRIME RATE AND EVERY BODY SHOULD ACCEPT THE REALITY THAT EXISTS.

Literacy rate has gone up and even the illiterate are media savvy as such it is foolish to think that the public is not aware of the reality and the public can be befooled by resorting to statistical jugglery as statistical jugglery is like showing somebody a red rose in full bloom devoid of the multitude of thorns that are below it (sic).

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