The NCRB releases multiple reports annually that provide crime & accident related statistics. Out of the 3 reports published by NCRB annually, two reports for the year 2016 have not been released yet, even as we enter 2019. The delay in the publication of these reports defeat the very purpose of compiling them.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an organization under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It releases annual reports on varied subjects related to crime, accidents, prisons etc. These reports primarily contain aggregated data about various crimes, accidents, suicides, prisons etc. up to the district level. The reports are an important part of any discourse on crimes, accidents, suicides etc.
Even as we enter 2019, few reports for the year 2016 have not been released yet. Historical data on the month of release of these reports indicates that it is the first time since 2002 where the delay in the release of few reports has crossed 24 months.
The NCRB Reports
The NCRB releases three reports every year and the Central Finger Print Bureau releases the annual finger print in India report.
The data for the annual Crime in India (CII) report is provided by the States/UTs in a prescribed proforma . This data is compiled by the NCRB in the form of CII, which gives comprehensive data on incidence of crime, disposal of cases by police & courts, crimes against women, children etc. NCRB Annual Report_CII 1On average, the CII report has been released by the NCRB with a delay of about 23 months since the year 1953. But the average delay since the year 2000 has gone down to 11 months.
The greatest delay was in the release of the 1984 report, the year in which the Anti-Sikh riots took place. The 1984 report was released in the year 1992, after a delay of 86 months.The 1985 report was also delayed by more than 6 years while the 1983 report was delayed by 5 years.
These were the only 3 occasions when the report was released after a delay of 5 years. And since 2004, the CII report has been released every year within 12 months. Between 2010 and 2015, this time lag was less than 10 months where as the 2016 report was released in November 2017, i.e., within 11 months.
For the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, the report was released within 6 months. The CII report for the year 2017 is yet to the released, and this is the first occasion since 2004 that the delay in the release of this report has crossed 12 months.
Release of the ADSI Report – The 2016 report is yet to be released
The Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India (ADSI) report provides data on various accidental deaths & suicides in India. Though the report is being published since 1967, the month of release of this report is only available from the year 1976.
The delay in the release of the ADSI report has been decreasing over the years. On average, the report has been released within 21 months since 1976. However, since the year 2005, the report has been released within 9 months on average. Both the 1979 and 1985 reports were released after a gap of 40 months, the highest for any year.
Since 2010, the report has been released within 7 months on average. For the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, the report was released within 6 months while for the years 2014 & 2015, the report was released within 7 months. Curiously, the 2016 report is yet to be released even after 24 months or two full years.
Prison Statistics India report – Improvement in the last 6 years
The Prison Statistics India report provides data on all prisons in India, the occupancy, details of the prisoners etc. This report is being published by the NCRB since 1995. Till the year 2004, this report was released within 24 months on average while the average delay went down to 14 months since 2005. In fact, the average gap has reduced to less than 10 months since 2011. Even in this case, the 2016 report is yet to be released after two full years or 24 months.
Delayed reports defeat the purpose
These reports provide an opportunity for governments & other stake holders to review crime and other related statistics. The reports also provide trends & important data points, that could be used by the civil society advocating governments for relevant corrective action.
For instance, the number of reported incidents of rape increased by over 30% in the year 2013, the year after the Nirbhaya incident in Delhi, possibly because of greater awareness and amendments made to the Criminal Law. Even the statistics related to farmer suicides from the ADSI report are widely used to understand the farm related distress across the country.
The undue delay in the release of these reports defeats the very purpose of compiling them. One had hoped that the NCRB will release these reports within 6 months with the introduction of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) and with a greater emphasis on ‘Digital India’.
As India bets big on AI other related technologies, availability of reliable data is going to play an important role. But sadly, we seem to be going back in time. It’s high time the government explain reasons for such undue delay and release the data immediately. #KhabarLive