Analysis of crime statistics requires expertise. “Something has increased, that’s bad and something has decreased, that’s good” is not the right way to look at NCRB data. Each crime has its own peculiarity and we have to distinguish between professional and non-professional patterns of crimes.
Preventive action becomes important in professional crimes, whereas it may be difficult to judge whether preventive action can be taken in non-professional crimes. Here too preventive action is required and important, but what kind of a preventive action needs to be taken has to be looked into. Not all non-professional crimes can be prevented.
If one takes POCSO, Karnataka is one of the states that implemented the Juvenile Justice Act long ago. A child welfare officer was appointed at each of over 1,000 police stations across the state and Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU) were created in all districts. So when POCSO was enacted in 2012-13, the state was ready for its implementation as it was very close to the Juvenile Justice Act.
With the police and public aware, and media highlighting such issues, the number of cases being reported will be high. People do not hesitate to come out and seek justice in Bengaluru as it is a cosmopolitan city with an educated population. This is the reason POCSO cases have shown an increase in Karnataka and Bengaluru. It is a good sign.
Are we to say that in other parts of the country, children are not subjected to such violence? If cases are high in the state and Bengaluru, it only shows that the police are steady, equipped and have undergone training. Even judicial officers have been trained in POCSO. Since awareness is high, a considerable number of cases are registered and investigation conducted.
All I can say is that the study requires expertise and each category of crime has to be taken separately and analysed in the context of the nature of the crime and the socio-economic situation of society.
The writer is Dr. S.T. Ramesh, IPS (Retired), Former DG & IGP...