Crime Prevention: What can the govternment do to lower the crime rate?

Crime Prevention

Crimes in India exists in various forms ranging from a wide array of offences like murder, money laundering, fraud, human trafficking etc. These crimes have different statistical trends changes with time and evolution of Human perceptions. As of now, crime is no longer an element of societal problems, rather it has become a problem for a nation’s socio, cultural, political, and economic situation. Governments have been trying to make and implement regulations to control the social crimes but till date, all the prevention techniques to a large extent have gone in vain. Here in this article, we would primarily deal with certain essentialities which our government could take into consideration to make laws to regulate these crimes, but first, it is important for us what crime actually is and what sort of crimes prevails in India.

What is Crime?

As observed by various courts in India, it is very difficult to give a precise definition of crime. Jurists like Glanville Williams, Russell, Cecil Turner, have all conceded that defining crime is a matter of great difficulty and there could be no satisfactory definition within which the term could be strait-jacketed.

It was in 1947 when Paul Tappan for the first time defined crime as an intentional act in violation of criminal law without an excuse and which is penalized by the state. Despite being the most cited definition, it is quite observable that the definition is strictly legal and simply makes the state the supreme force with no emphasis on the roles of actors like criminologists who at the present juncture are the major instrument of law-making.

A crime can simply be put up as a phenomenon where a specific type of behaviour is practised which in its totality is against the moral standards and simply defeats the humanness of the person who commits it.

Therefore, it could safely be concluded that the term crime cannot be placed into a moulded definition because of the subjectivity involved in its commission and motive and for this reason, jurists now consider that it would be better to define Criminality rather than Crime itself to tackle this problem.

What is Criminality?

As put forth by various jurists, we can avoid the problem of defining crime altogether by studying the individual who commits the crime thereby defining the term Criminality. Criminality is a clinical term used mainly in criminological studies with no attributes of legal nature. While Crime is the act/intention to contradict the law, Criminality is the property/ulterior motive of a criminal under the garb of which he commits some crime. Criminality studies the traits of willingness in a person to use some perverted actions to defy laws thereby creating a turmoil in the overall social structure of a society. It is the Criminality which results into crime and it is for this reason legal luminaries have proposed that since both Crime and Criminality are congruous, they can be defined in the context of one another thereby eradicating the problems arising in defining the term Crime.

It is to be noted here that only the existence of Criminality does not make a man Criminal, it is the act of defiance that he commits which results into the actual Crime and it is only then he/she could be termed as a criminal.

What are some of the major Crimes in India?

In a report published by the National Crime Records Bureau, the crime rates involving minor offences like burglary have declined significantly by 79.84%, but major offences like murder have increased by 7.39%. Kidnapping has increased by 47.80% whereas robbery has declined by 28.85%.

In a report by the NCRB in 2012, the state of Uttar Pradesh has been made the state with the highest Crime Rate among the States of India, while Nagaland recorded lowest rates. As of 2016 Uttar Pradesh had a lower crime rate punished under the IPC, but because of the large number of offences its overall crime rate is ten times the size of its IPC crime rate.

The report also mentioned that in 2006, 5,102,460 cognizable crimes were committed including 1,878,293 Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes, with an increase of 1.5% over 2005. Considering this report, it could safely be said that India has still has not rid of Crimes and despite having significant declination they exist in the society and from time to time disturb the tranquillity thereby affecting the law and order of the nation. Hereunder is a list of Crimes that are quite common in our Indian Society.

1. Rape – Rape in India is one of the most common crimes against women. Official records show that rape cases in India have doubled between 1990 and 2008. In the National Crime Records Bureau report of 2012, Gujarat has stated as the state with the lowest rape rate while Mizoram had the highest rape rate.

2Drug Trade – India is located between the Golden Crescent (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) and the Golden Triangle (Burma, Thailand and Laos) making it a hotspot for drug trafficking through the borders. In global reports, India has been made the world’s largest producer of opium. As per the report of Ministry of Social Justice and AIIMS, Mumbai is the centre for distribution of drug supply in India. As stated by a report of Narcotics Control Bureau, India has at least four million drug addicts mainly consuming psychedelic substances like cannabis, hash, opium and heroin which is sufficient to show the reach of drugs in India.

3. Corruption – Corruption is widespread in India, prevalent within every section of the society. In India, corruption takes the form of bribes, evasion of tax and exchange controls, embezzlement and the like.

These are only some of the most significant crimes that are pervasive in our country. Based on the number of cases, there are also crimes like Homicides, Dowry Deaths, Extortion etc. which are having a pervasive effect on our society which in turn leads to the dilapidation of the social figment.

What Leads to Crimes?

It is noteworthy to see that there has been an increase in crime rates over the past four decades. While there is an increase in the crime against the human body, on one hand, there is a decrease in crime against the property on the other. Indian society has experienced rapid structural changes in the past four decades which have led to major transformations in every societal institution. There is also an increase in movement from rural to urban localities which have greatly affected the overall perception of people against one another. This could be said as the root cause of crimes in modern times. Rapid changes in the social structure have led to developments of conflicting ideas which has resultantly led to differences that extend from individual level to social level, which ultimately lead to the commission of crimes.

Modernity despite having major boon for the societies has also led to social disorganization which leads to the increased crime rate. In India, the rapid growth in the urban population and, the changes in the existing value systems and political system are some of the major factors contributing to the increase in the crime rate.

While Crimes like Murder and Rape, have increased in the present era, incidents of Robbery, Burglary, and Riots have declined sharply in the 21st century. As India made enormous economic growth the number of cases for property offences has also increased. All of this leads us to safely conclude that despite having independent existence all this have a mutual existence and therefore it could also be said that Crimes are an antithesis to the developments and growth which a nation makes.

One of the main reasons for the increase in cases of major criminal offences is the increase in the number of violations of statutes dealing with criminal matters. Even as of now there are major cases like that of Nirbhaya Rape Case, where therapists have still maintained to dodge the punishments by utilizing the loopholes present in our criminal justice delivery system in the name of their rights. It is for this reason that our present legislations need major revisions and improvements to prevent such mockery of Indian Justice System.

Steps the Government can take to prevent the crimes

The government has since long been trying to reduce crimes and is taking measure to placate crimes which range from petty thievery to major frauds and kidnappings to homicide. Our government is trying its best to ensure the safety of the Indian Social Structure as a whole and is implementing various instruments and legislations to placate the Crime and its effect.  Hereunder are a few methods the government can implement to reduce crimes:

1. With advancements in the field of Criminology, we have tools to gather scientific evidence to focus on hotspots or habitual offenders such that we can prevent or reduce violence.

2. The focus of the executives should be on preventing the conditions that lead people to criminality which ultimately leads to the commission of offences. This can be done through a systematic, integrated, coordinated approach where the punitive approach should be made the last resort.

3. In the modern era, Cyberspace has become the domain for violence. Crimes on cyberspace range from videos showing assassinations, to recruitments made for extremist groups and coercion to frauds. It is important to understand here that the Criminality has proliferated even to the web and it is high time now to take some strict actions against the same.

4. The governments should try to create a system based on an equilibrium state between repression or prevention and incorporate rehabilitation policies which would greatly affect the mentality of people and thereby dilute Criminality present in the minds of people.

5. Most importantly laws should be made in such a way that Crimes could be prevented at an early stage thereby rooting out the very Criminality which leads to the Crime.


Trends in crime and the crime rate in India over the past four decades is always fluctuating. While crime against the human body has always been on an increase, cases of petty crimes like burglary etc. have seen a decline. It is also to be noted here that the crime rate is on a high only since the 1990s which clearly indicates some sort of perversion.  Based upon a global observation it could also be said that the overall crime problem in India is not as serious as that in the US or Latin American countries, but still, the crime rate is on an alarming increase. In India Economic, political, and social factors play a crucial role in the commission of crimes. If these factors could be controlled and stabilized, we can anticipate the improvement of the crime situation which in turn would reduce the overall crime rate.

“The views of the authors are personal


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I am Pratyush Pandey, a law student from the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala. I am the third generation in my family to be in the legal academia and aspire to serve the legal fraternity. As of now, I have an interest in the field of Constitutional and Family Law. Also, I have a great interest in writing, mooting and speedcubing.