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NCRB Report 2020: A check on crimes in India amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Arfa Javaid

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has released the 68th edition of its annual report, Crime in India 2020. Since its introduction in 1953, the report publishes an annual comprehensive report on crime across the country to help understand the law and order situation pan India. 

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, crimes against women, children and senior citizens, theft, burglary, robbery and dacoity have declined. 

A total of 66,01,285 cognizable crimes have been reported in 2020 which include 42,54,356 IPC crimes and 23,46,929 and SLL crimes. A surge of 28.0% has been reported in the registration of cases as compared to 2019. The charge sheeting rate under IPC Crimes has increased by 12.5% over 2019 (67.4%).

A rise in cases registered under disobedience to order duly promulgated by Public Servant has been noted, primarily arising out of violations of COVID-19 norms, from 29,469 cases in 2019 to 6,12,179 cases in 2020, and under 'Other IPC Crimes’ from 2,52,268 cases in 2019 to 10,62,399 cases in 2020. 

NCRB Report 2020: Key Highlights

A. Crime against Women

1- A dip of 8.3% has been noted in cases registered for committing crimes against women in 2020. 

2- A total of 3,71,503 cases were registered in 2020 as compared to 4,05,326 cases in 2019. 

3- The crime rate registered per lakh women population is 56.5 in 2020 in comparison with 62.3 in 2019.

4- The majority of cases were registered under 'Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives' (30.0%), followed by 'Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty' (23.0%), 'Kidnapping & Abduction of Women' (16.8%) and 'Rape' (7.5%).

B. Crimes against Scheduled Castes (SCs)

1- An increase of 9.4% has been reported in cases registered under crimes against Scheduled Castes (SCs).

2- A total of 50,291 cases were registered in 2020 as compared to 45,961 cases in 2019. 

3- The crime rate registered showed an increase from 22.8 in 2019 to 25.0 in 2020. 

4- The report revealed that the majority of cases were registered under simple hurt with 32.9% (16,543 cases), followed by cases under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act with 8.5% (4,273 cases) and Criminal Intimidation with 7.5% (3,788 cases). 

C. Crimes against Scheduled Tribes (STs)

1- A surge of 9.3% has been reported in cases registered under crimes against Scheduled Tribes (STs). 

2- A total of 8,272 cases were registered in 2020 in comparison with 7,570 cases in 2019. 

3- The crime rate registered increased from 7.3 in 2019 to 7.9 in 2020.

4- The NCRB report highlighted that simple hurt (2,247 cases) formed the highest number of cases of crimes or atrocities against Scheduled Tribes (STs) during 2020, followed by rape with 13.7% (1,137 cases) and assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty with 10.7% (885 cases). 

D. Crime against Children

1- A decline of 13.2% has been reported in cases registered for committing crimes against children.

2- A total of 1,28,531 cases were registered in 2020, compared to 1,48,090 cases in 2019. 

3- The crime rate registered per lakh children population is 28.9 in 2020 in comparison with 33.2 in 2019.

4- The report noted that major crimes under this category were Kidnapping & Abduction (42.6%) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (38.8%) including child rape.

E. Crime against Senior Citizens

1- A decrease of 10.8% has been reported in cases registered for committing crimes against Senior Citizens (aged above 60 years).

2- A total of 24,794 cases were registered as compared to 27,804 cases in 2019. 

3- The report underscored that simple hurt with 25.8% (6,396 cases), followed by Theft with 11.6% (2,872 cases) and FCF (Forgery, Cheating & Fraud) with 10.0% (2,490 cases) were among the major crimes against Senior Citizens.  

F. Juveniles in Conflict with Law 

1- With a total of 29,768 cases registered against the Juveniles in 2020, a decline of 7.8% has been noted over 2019 (32,269 cases). 

2- A total of 35,352 juveniles were apprehended, of which 31,618 juveniles were apprehended under cases of IPC and 3,734 juveniles were apprehended under cases of SLL throughout 2020. 

3- The crime rate saw a drop from 7.2 in 2019 to 6.7 in 2020, and a majority of them (76.2%) were from the age group of 16 to 18 years. 

G. Offences Affecting the Human Body

1- The cases registered under this category account for 24.6% of total IPC crimes in 2020. 

2- A total of 10,47,216 cases were registered, of which hurt (5,78,641 cases, 55.3%) accounted for maximum cases, followed by cases of causing death by negligence (1,26,779 cases, 12.1%) and cases of Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty (85,392 cases, 8.2%).

3- A marginal decrease of 0.5% was noted in 2020 in comparison with 2019. 

4- From 78.6 in 2019 to 77.4 in 2020, a decline in the crime rate has been observed. 

About National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

Established in 1986 under the aegis of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), NCRB functions as a repository of information on crime and criminals to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators. 

It was set up on the recommendations of the Tandon Committee, National Police Commission (1977-1981) and the MHA’s Taskforce (1985).

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