Rao Chandrika *
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, M S Ramaiah Hospital and Medical College, Bangalore *
Juvenile Delinquency is generally considered to consist of adolescent behaviour that violates the law. Delinquent behaviour may occur infrequently or repeatedly and may range from minor misdemeanors to major crimes. Incidence of juvenile delinquency among youth is not always truly recorded and often remains an elusive statistic.

The Juvenile Justice Act 1986 defines a juvenile as a male below 16 years of age and female below 18 years of age.

In this study we studied the crime rate among adolescents in Karnataka state for the last 10 years and the issues regarding it.

Aims and Objectives: The aims of the present study were:
  1. To find the incidence of juvenile crime rate in Karnataka and its trend in the last 10 years.
  2. To study the types of crime and its pattern in Karnataka.
  3. To identify any major common factors if present.


Data were collected from the State Crime Records Bureau, Karnataka Police - Bangalore. Data from juvenile homes were also collected.

  • Total of 497 juvenile crimes were recorded in Karnataka in the period Jan 2004-Jan 2005. Rate was around 0.55 per lakh of population.
  • The nature of the crimes was as follows:

  • Crime  
    Theft 178
    Robbery 15
    Dacoity 9
    House breaking Burglary 92
    Rash and Negligent driving 42
    Criminal intimidation 46
    Attempt to murder 17
    Murder 18
    Kidnapping 3
    Abduction 2
    Sexual molestation 16
    Assault 2
    Narcotics 2
    Excise 8

  • The majority of the crimes were Property Offences: 294 (Dacoity-9, Robbery-15, HBT-92, Theft-178 etc). 115 cases were against persons - Kidnapping-3, Abduction-2, Assualt-2, Intimidation-46, etc).
  • Regional distribution:

    Highest number of cases were from Bangalore City.

    Next were Bangalore rural, Hubli and Dharwad, Chikmagalur, Mandya.
  • Rate of adolescent crime in 10 years has remained around 150-500. The rise in numbers is in proportion with the population growth.
  • Economic Background:

    Percentage distribution from 1999 to 2004 showed that the crime rates were higher in low socio-economic background.
  • Classification of Adolescents as per the ages showed that the middle adolescence is very vulnerable to crime.
  • 86.6% of the delinquents were attending school at the time of crime. Absenteeism, irregular attendance was common.
  • The adolescents placed in Remand homes were counseled, examined and had some minor access to health, education and food. They were all placed under Rehabilitation programme.

The adolescents freed went back to their earlier environment with no facilities or support system after their discharge.

Counseling services in few police stations are present only in Bangalore city and not present in any other areas in Karnataka.

  1. The crime rate though increased in number, has been in proportion to the population.

  2. The nature of crime has been various and property offences have the major crime.

  3. Boys, low socio-economic background was major identifying factor.

  4. There is no support system for adolescents in police stations and in the society to offer any services to the adolescents. An attempt must be made to have a standard adolescent care for delinquents all over the country.
  5. Recommendation: A programme concentrating in schools especially catering to low socio-economic class with a term including pediatrician, psychiatrist.
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