with population growth, unemployment, poverty rate, urbanisation and other factors.”
Traditional economic models also broadly predict an inverse relationship between criminal activity and economic opportunity. One implicit assumption that prevails in theoretical and empirical work on crime is that the impact of economic conditions on crime is symmetric. More specifically, it is assumed that if a given deterioration in economic conditions increases criminal activity by a certain amount, an equivalent improvement in economic conditions would generate a decrease in crime by the same absolute value.
Analysts say that growth, with the spillover effect on employment rates and income levels, has a strong bearing on the rate of crime, especially petty crime in urban centres. Gunjan Sharma, Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, who conducted an April 2011 study on ‘Crime and Inequality in India’ that examined the relationship between crime and inequality in Indian districts in 1988 and 2004, found that inequality increases most types of property and violent crime and that inequality within religious and caste groups drives this relationship.
In the last four years, when the economy has reeled under a downturn, the spike in crimes is accounted for by not just individuals but companies as well. The number of cases of embezzlement by companies, based on complaints received during the period April 1, 2009, to June 30, 2013, by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, shows a rise from six in each of the first two years to 13 in 2011-12, 45 in 2012-13 and 55 in just the three months of the current fiscal, according to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs data.