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CRIME PREVENTION IN THE CONTEXT OF DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL
Crime, so to say, is a shadow of civilization. Its size and shape
depend upon the form of society and hence change with the growth and development
of the system. Every age has its new and special problems of crime, although in so many ways, the
crime problem is as old as man himself. Kidnapping, hijacking, drug trafficking have become more
serious crimes to tackle with. Moreover, the method used to commit crime are new in the sense that they partake of modern knowledge and technique.
The reasons given for the increase in crime include
unemployment, economic backwardness, over population, illiteracy and inadequate equipment of the
police force. The increase in crime both national and transnational is generally regarded as the result of an interplay between socio-economic changes.
In Nepal, there are much less crime problem in rural areas whereas in the urban area the crime problem is quite high. There is a change in the forms and dimensions of criminality with the changes in the living style of society and social values. There is the change in the form of criminality when society itself changes culturally and technologically. The relation between human behavior and societal change is the crucial factor in understanding not only crime but development itself. Crime occurs and seems to increase with the acceleration of change and development, which in recent years has been specially associated with such crucial processes as industrialization, urbanization, social mobility and the development of technology.
It is of course realized that planning for crime prevention, within the context of national socio-economic planning suffers from the vagaries of phenomena that are hard to control, such as population growth, labour migration, economic cycles, unemployment, national disaster as well as from the diminishing effectiveness of traditional social control, such as parental or community influences. The transition from traditional to industrialized society poses a particular challenge in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice. Increased opportunities and the dwindling influence of established form of social control contribute to a rise in criminality with which an unprepared system of criminal justice can not cope with.
The significance of crime prevention services is recongnised not only in the promotion of social order and social justice but also in the productive and necessary protection of commerce, industry and the economy. Any measures to be effective must cover not only the criminal justice system and development of police prisons, court, parole, probation and reformative institutions as an integrated crime prevention mechanism in itself, but also, it must extend to those aspects of education, health, labour, welfare, agriculture, industry and other sector of economy that have obvious relevance for crime production and crime prevention.
Education, health, labour and social welfare programs are likely to have a crime prevention effect. Child care programs designed to reduce the personality defects that lead to potential delinquent behavior, family support programs designed to keep family united so as to foster better child care, educational programs to improve socialization, labour programs to reduce unemployment; and programs to improve mental health are all obvious requirements for effective crime prevention.
The more direct services, such as police, prison, court, probation, parole should have specific programs to deal with crime. These might include measures to increase the police efficiency, improve the training of police officers, and develop new technique in forensic science and crime detection. New building programs to avoid over crowding of prisons, better facilities for probation and parole so as to keep more people out of prison, new court procedures to expedite justice, perhaps programs to integrate and improve the entire justice system including the reform of the law itself if necessary.
The common law system had its influence in the Nepalese judicial system especially in the matters concerning the substantive and procedural aspects of administration of criminal justice. The principles evolved by the common law system as benefit of doubt, burden of proof and hearsay rule have been incorporated into the Nepalese judicial system. Despite that the judicial system was exposed to the influence of common law system the prison system retained most of its indigenous characteristics. In many countries the responsibility to undertake the administration of prisons is entrusted to the police force or the authorities of similar nature. However in Nepal the practice till the recent time is different and the responsibility is entrusted to the civil servants. It is due to the indigenous mode of carrying out prison administration, the practice of parole, probation are not introduced in Nepal.