People and institutions also change their behaviour to avoid crime—companies hold back their investments and governments shift the allocation of resources, affecting total national production and welfare payments.
World Bank researchers conducted a study in Jamaica that shows that improvements in the physical infrastructure of a community’s surroundings as well as social interventions can reduce the incidence of crime and violence through improvements in its social capital. Crime and violence can have a deleterious impact on society and hamper economic growth and development, erode social cohesion, affect governance and, in some cases, shake countries’ political stability. The cost of violence and crime is significant. The Indian economy lost a whopping $1.19 trillion (over Rs 80 lakh crore) in 2017 in constant purchasing power parity (PPP) terms as per the Institute for Economics and Peace and, in Latin America, considered one of the most violent regions in the world, the economic cost of a failure of security against crimes is estimated at approximately 3.5% of GDP.
People and institutions also change their behaviour to avoid crime—companies hold back their investments and governments shift the allocation of resources, affecting total national production and welfare payments. However, these harmful acts can be negated with the process of urban upgradation, or the involving of community members in the deliverance of basic services like electricity, road and other connectivity infrastructure, sustainable waste management, etc, which, in turn, lends a degree of accountability, ownership and care over the society’s members and its building blocks. The study also speaks about how—in combination with the urban upgrades—social interventions that focus on strengthening social capital in the communities, especially that of the most vulnerable, deliver in curbing crime. Examples of these include conflict mediation training programmes that sensitise participants towards resolving conflicts before they escalate and other behavioural and sensitisation initiatives. So, when physical infrastructure and social intervention programmes are implemented together, reinforcing one another, community members demonstrate greater ownership and lesser violence—this could be a possible roadmap for India to follow.