The recent National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics show comparing incidents of crime with the population of a state, notes Kerala is most affected by crime and Kochi is the most dangerous city. Figures compiled till 2010 show that Kerala has a crime rate of 424.1, more than double the national average of 187.6.
Kochi’s crime rate is even scarier at 1,879.8 compared to most cities, where the figure averages 341.9. NCRB’s figures show that Kochi also saw an exponential rise of 193% in crime in 2010 compared to 2009. For a state that reaps praise for scoring high on literacy and health indicators, the crime stats are unwelcome news.
Crime rate – number of crimes committed per 1 lakh population — gives a more realistic and comparative picture of law and order than a total of offences registered in a state or city. A state with a larger population can report a higher number of offences as compared to a small state. But it is the crime rate that is an index of law and order.
Among states with significant population and area, Kerala has left most others far behind with Madhya Pradesh a distant second at 297.2 offences per lakh population, and Delhi ranks third with a rate of 279.8. UP, much reviled on the crime front, has a crime rate of only 87.5.
Kerala also ranks highest on incidents of rioting and arson with a rate of 26 compared to the national average of 6.4, although Bihar at 8,809 incidents accounts for almost 13% of all riots in the country.
To put these figures in perspective, NCRB has also compiled separate statistics for violent crimes that include murder, attempt to murder, rape, kidnapping and dowry death. On this count too, Kerala’s figures are high, inspiring little confidence in the state’s government machinery.
Of the 2,41,986 incidents of violent crime in the country, Kerala accounted for 11,756, more than much larger states like Rajasthan (10, 577) and comparable to its bigger neighbours such as Tamil Nadu (12,333) and Andhra Pradesh (12,491). UP accounts for highest number of violent crimes, recording 27,225 incidents.
Even women are not very safe in the coconut country. The state’s rate of crime against women hovers at 27, higher than Delhi at 24.6, which is often called most unsafe place for females. Bihar, incidentally, is one the safest for women recording a crime rate against women of only 8.7 — second only to Goa with a rate of 8.