Stung by crime bureau’s ratings,DGP suggests new method of data compilation

The West Bengal Police has objected to the way the National Crime Records Bureau collects crime figures from the state and compiles them to make its annual reports.

Written by RAJIB CHATTERJEE | Kolkata | Published:October 17, 2012 2:13 am

The West Bengal Police has objected to the way the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) collects crime figures from the state and compiles them to make its annual reports.

The state police have also objected to the ranking of states in terms of ‘criminality’. In the latest NCRB report,West Bengal is ranked first in terms of crimes against women (see box).

At a recent conference of the Directors General of Police held in New Delhi,West Bengal police chief Naparajit Mukherjee had raised the issue. He also offered “some suggestions” to change the proforma regarding collection of crime-related statistics and incorporating social status,cultural backgrounds of a state as footnote in the annual reports.

“We submitted some suggestions regarding collection and compilation of crime figures. The proforma that is given to states for mentioning crime figures needs to be changed. The NCRB sends the proforma that was prepared way back in 1994. Because of various reasons,fake complaints go into the tabulation sheet. Because of fake complaints,wrong message about the state’s law and order goes to people,” Mukherjee said.

Referring to the diversity in cultural and socio-economic condition of the states,Mukherjee said: “You cannot compare Sikkim with West Bengal,and West Bengal with Uttar Pradesh because of difference in police-population ratio,population,population density and various other factors.”

The Trinamool Congress government,which had objected to the Centre’s proposal of setting up of National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) citing infringment of federal structure,has once again cited the same reasons against the NCRB’s ranking of states on the number of criminal incidents taking place.

“Law and order is a state subject and categorising states on the basis of criminality should not be done in a federal structure as it is insulting to the states. Projecting a state as the ‘most crime-prone’ by a central government organisation like NCRB is not fair,” a senior IAS officer in the West Bengal government said.

“In many states,FIRs are not received by thana-level officers. But in West Bengal,we accept all complaints and submit all crime-related figures to the NCRB in good faith. But if we are projected as a crime-prone state,do you think it will be a fair judgement?” asked the officer.

The state government has proposed to the NCRB that a crime victimisation survey should be conducted to get the “real picture” of law and order situation of a state.

“In the UK,such a survey is conducted. There are many esteemed organisations in India that are capable of doing such surveys. Instead of only highlighting the crime figures,the tabulation sheet must have a column for figures like how many arrests have been made and in how many cases chargsheets have been filed. Only this way can the correct picture about a state’s law and order be presented,’ said IG (headquarters) Adhir Sharma.

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