Policy Advisory – The need for an Indian Crime Survey

The following is Takshashila’s submission to the Justice J S Verma Committee on amendments to criminal law relating to safety and security of women:

Information underpins all planning. At present, the only source of information about crimes in the country are the statistics collated by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). However, it is well known that all crimes are not reported to the police and as often alleged, if reported, many are not registered by the police. The under-reporting and poor registration is far worse in case of crime against women.

In many Western democracies, an annual Crime Victimisation Survey is conducted to give a more realistic and actionable picture of crime — estimate the number and types of crimes not reported to the police, identify people most at risk and map public attitude towards crime and towards the Criminal Justice System. There is a need for reliable and comprehensive data on crime in India that will sustain an empirical approach towards reducing crime against women. Such information will both supplement and validate the NCRB data.

It is proposed that the laws be suitably amended to mandate the Union Government to conduct annual Indian Crime Surveys (ICS).

Download the Policy Advisory (120kb, PDF)