HYDERABAD: The number of murders committed using ammunition averaged at a little above 20 per cent till 2004 in the country which drastically reduced to less than 8 per cent in the next five years, posing the question why is it so. Collating crime-related data like this has been a career for Professor Martin Killias, experimental criminologist at the University of Zurich.
Speaking on experimental research in criminology and criminal justice at the Centre for DNA finger-printing and Diagnostics (VDFD) here on Thursday, the criminologist pointed out that the subject was non-existential in India and highlighted that the only data from the country was regarding firearms.
The co-chair of Campbell Crime and J u s t i c e Coordinating Group spoke about improving justice system and bringing about a change based on evidence and studies applicable for prevention and control of crime.
“We work on summarizing crime-related studies which show contradictory reports to generalize the results,” said the author of multiple research papers and books on criminology.
He has explored the economic aspect of crime as well as policy measures and their effects on the justice systems across the globe.
Going beyond the ‘whodunit’ of a crime, the cause and effects of delinquency at large sum up the study of criminology.
In the course of his lecture, the researcher spoke about how the results of a study often do not apply in a different set up, such as a different culture or country.
Giving an example, the professor recalled the famous Cambridge-Somerville study of 1960s which measured the impact of social intervention on juvenile delinquents.
“Humans are bad evaluators of their experience. Surprisingly, the study found that of the 500 boys who were put through the mentor programme, those who were mentored most ended up more delinquent,” said Martin Killias citing the need for correlation of data and need to collate data and relate it to relevant details.
“Studies can be carried out by researchers of law, economics, social sciences or forensics to study the implications of crimes,” says the professor. On an optimistic note he added that sharing data at a global level can help our understanding of crime and ways to control it.