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

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A Comparison of Victim-Reported and Police-Recorded Crime in India

The principal source of crime statistics in India are police records. It is reasonable to expect that these understate the prevalence of crime, since victims may choose not to report crime to the police, and when they do, police may choose not to record crime. In this article, police-recorded crime is compared with victim-reported crime and an estimate of the magnitude of under-recording is developed. Even if understated, police statistics could still be informative of crime patterns if regions with high victim-reported crime also have high police-recorded crime. This article explores whether victim-reported crime is a predictor of police-recorded crime and finds that police records do contain valuable information about actual crime.

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