By the Numbers: Law Enforcement and Security in India

The data driving Asia

With continuing public outcry in the wake of the high-profile gang rape of a young woman in Delhi in December 2012, the Indian and American media have been examining India’s cultural attitudes towards women as well as personal security in general.

Public safety, in both urban and rural areas, is just one facet of several domestic security issues confronting India. Crimes against women are growing not slowing, political and religious violence has only reduced slightly, and India remains unnervingly vulnerable to acts of domestic terrorism. Government spending and policy initiatives are only beginning to catch up to these pressing issues:


Number of Indian police officers per 100,000 people. The second lowest among 50 countries ranked by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2010. The global average is approximately 350.


Percentage of female Indian police officers. In 2011 female police officers accounted for only 84,479 out of 1,585,117 total officers.


Average monthly salary for an Indian police constable. According to the UNODC, many low-level officers resort to soliciting bribes and demanding payments for minor traffic violations to offset their low salaries.


Number of judges in India per one million people, fourth lowest in the world. In a UN study based on 2008 data, India’s judicial system was described as one of the slowest-moving in the world.


Number of rape cases registered in India in 2011. Most experts agree that the number of unreported cases is significantly higher.


Approximate number of terrorist incidents in India in 2011. The world’s largest perpetrator of terrorist attacks in 2011 was the insurgent group Communist Party of India-Maoists (CPI-M), far outpacing more well-known groups such as the Taliban, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram of Nigeria, FARC, and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan aka the Pakistani Taliban.


India’s percentage of global homeland security spending. With an annual growth rate of 35% compared to the global average of 7% India’s share of global spending is expected to almost double to 6% by 2020.


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