Spatial variation of different type of crimes in west Bengal
Eman Banerjee Mukherjee
West Bengal is a state with a large amount of geographical and physical variation and in relation to this the socio-economic and political variation also prominent here. So, the crime pattern also varies from one area to another area with the changing geographical, physical, socioeconomic and political conditions. It is noticeable that the rapid growth of urbanization in different districts, mainly the expansion of Kolkata, the high growth of population, the international border areas, the forested areas, the industrial and mine areas are most vulnerable areas in terms of occurrence of criminal activities. North and South 24 Parganas and Kolkata always fall under very high crime intensity zone and Purulia, Bnkura, Birbhum, Purba Midnapore, Coochbehar, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur and South Dinajpur always lie under low to moderate crime intensity zone. On the contrary for the rest of the districts, viz, Paschim Midnapore, Burdwan, Howrah, Hooghly, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, Murshidabad and Nadia, the crime intensity zones vary from low to very high over changing of time period. Maximum variation is prominent for Jalpaiguri-Alipurduar districts. This pattern of variation may be for the influence of different factors in occurrence of crime like socio-political factors, socio-psychological factors, socio-economic factors and finally the geographical and demographic factor. The Criminal Procedure Code of India classifies all types of crime in two categories; firstly, Cognizable Crime including the crime falling either under the `Indian Penal Code (IPC) or under the `Special and Local Laws (SLL)' and secondly, Non Cognizable Crime. In The IPC crimes, 23 type of crimes fall under major six crime categories like crime against body, crime against property, crime against public order, crime against women, economic crime and other IPC Crimes. Most dominating crime types for West Bengal are Attempt to commit murder, Hurt or grievous hurt, Preparation and assembly to commit dacoity, Counterfeiting, Culpable homicide not amounting to murder and Cruelty by husband or his relatives. Highest crime intensity zone are around highly populated areas with increasing rate of urbanization, border areas, and forested areas. In Urban areas ma jor crimes are Murder, theft, Burglary, Counterfeiting, Crime against Women, Cheating and Criminal breach of trust. In case of Forested areas, Theft, Dacoity, Poaching, Corruption are most reported crimes. In areas with National and International Border, major type of crimes that are experiencing are like Smuggling, Trafficking, Murder, Robbery, Dacoity, Crime against women, kidnapping and abduction. Rural areas consist crimes like Crime against women, theft, and arson type of crimes.