ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Basudeb ChattopadhyaySubscribe to Basudeb Chattopadhyay

Rural Crime in Police Perception-A Study of Village Crime Note Books

A Study of Village Crime Note Books "THE criminal produces not only crimes, but also criminal law, and with this the professor who gives lectures on criminal law", thus noted Karl Marx with his usual insight. 1 It is, however, only in the last two decades in Europe and very recently in India that historians have started treating crime as an important theme of social history, relating its changing contours to different political, social and economic parameters.2 For obvious reasons studies on crime have invariably fallen back on police and court records as the data bank, although such works as Richard Cobb's The Police and the People have made us aware of the pitfalls of a straightforward reliance on police informers' reports. The present paper draws attention of historians of modern India to Village Crime Note Books (VCNBs), a relatively unknown and hitherto underutilised police record which could be fruitfully used for the reconstruction of the social history of crime in Bengal at the grassroots level. Our observations are based on an intensive scrutiny of the extant volumes of this series in one particular thana (police station) of West Bengal
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