Crime in India 2021: Volume-I


The three-volume report Crime in India 2021 was published by the National Crime Records Bureau, an agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, on August 25, 2022. This is the 69th edition of the annual Crime in India report, the first of which was published in the year 1953.

Crime in India 2021 presents data for the year 2021 on crimes across the country. It is based on information from the 36 states and union territories of the country and various police and law enforcement agencies such as the Central Armed Police Forces. It also contains statistics on 19 metropolitan cities with a population of two million or more according to Census 2011 – including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore and Delhi. One of the limitations of this report is that if a case registers multiple offences, only the one with “maximum punishment” is counted. For example, cases of ‘murder with rape’ are counted under murder and not rape.

This 546-page document is the first volume of the 2021 report. It is divided into five chapters, including a summary (Chapter 1) and sections on murder (Chapter 2A, 2B), kidnapping and abduction (Chapter 2C, 2D), crime against women (Chapter 3), crime against children (Chapter 4), and juveniles in conflict with law (Chapter 5). 

Volume II provides data on crimes against senior citizens, Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and on economic offences, corruption, cyber-crimes, crimes considered anti-national and offences related to the environment. Volume III details crimes in the railways, crimes committed by or against foreigners, human trafficking and custodial crimes.


  1. A total of 6,096,310 cognizable crimes were registered in 2021. This showed a decline of 504,975 cases (7.6 per cent) from the number (6,601,285 cases) registered in 2020. The crime rate per lakh population also fell from 487.8 in 2020 to 445.9 in 2021.

  2. Compared to 2020, cases reported under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) declined by 13.9 per cent where cases under Special and Local Laws (SLL) rose by 3.7 per cent. Crimes under IPC (3,663,360 cases) still numbered greater than those registered under SLL (2,432,950 cases).

  3. Cases of ‘offences affecting the human body’ accounted for 30 per cent of the total cases registered under the IPC. Of these, cases of hurt accounted for 53.2 per cent, cases of death by negligence made up 13.3 per cent and those of kidnapping and abduction accounted for 9.2 per cent.

  4. In 2021, Tamil Nadu registered the highest number of crimes (756,753 cases) followed by Gujarat (731,738 cases) and Uttar Pradesh (608,082 cases).

  5. Cases registered under offences against public tranquillity numbered 63,391 in 2021. Rioting accounted for 66.2 per cent of these cases. There has been a decline of 10 per cent in registered offences against public tranquillity between 2020 to 2021.

  6. The 19 metropolitan cities considered in the report, with a population of more than two million, registered a total of 952,273 crimes in 2021 – 630,937 IPC and 321,336 SLL. The crime rate for these cities was recorded at 835 per lakh population.

  7. The highest rate of cognizable crimes – terms of crime registered per lakh population – in a metropolitan city was recorded in Delhi (1,859 cases), Surat (1,675 cases), Kochi (1,603.7 cases) and Ahmedabad (1,518.5 cases).

  8. As many as 29,272 murder cases were registered in the year 2021, a slight increase over the 29,193 cases registered in 2020.

  9. Cases registered as ‘crimes against women’ increased by 15.3 per cent between 2020 and 2021 – from 371,503 to 428,278 cases. A majority (31.8 per cent) of these cases fell under the category of ‘Cruelty by Husband or his Relatives’. Around 20.8 per cent were classified as ‘Assault on Women with Intent to Outrage her Modesty’. These were followed by ‘Kidnapping and Abduction of Women’ (17.6 per cent) and ‘Rape’ (7.4 per cent).

  10. Crimes against children saw an increase of 16.2 per cent in 2021 over 2020 figures. The total number of cases increased from 128,531 cases to 149,404 cases. About 45 per cent of these were cases of ‘kidnapping and abduction’ while 38 per cent fell under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, 2012.

  11. Reported cases of kidnapping and abduction in the country numbered 101,707 in 2021, a considerable 19.9 per cent increase over the figures in 2020. These cases included 86,543 female and 17,605 male victims and one recorded transgender victim. About 66 per cent of the total victims were children.

    Focus and Factoids by Kanak Rajadhyaksha.


National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi


National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi


25 Aug, 2022