Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state in April 2016, coming true on his campaign promise made prior to the assembly elections held the previous year. In about a month’s time, Kumar announced that crime had dropped 27 per cent since the imposition of total prohibition, suggesting a connection between crime and consumption of liquor.
However, an IndiaSpend analysis of Bihar Police crime data has revealed that cognisable offence has been on the rise since the introduction of the liquor ban. The number of such crimes has risen from 14,279 in April to 16,153 in October over a nine-month period, registering a 13 per cent increase.
IndiaSpend has also reported that every major crime -- murder, rape, kidnapping, rioting -- has increased in the months after Kumar’s ban on liquor. This just shows that no correlation exists between prohibition and a drop in crime after all. Perhaps monitoring data over a longer period will be able to shed more light on the matter.