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Escalation of Police Efficiency Diminishes POCSO Incidences—Myth or Reality? Evidence from Indian States


The sexual abuse of children is an under-reported offence in India. In reality, child sexual abuse has outreached to epidemic status. The present study aims to explore how much police efficiency and other social, economic and demographic factors influence child sexual abuse, registered under the “Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO)” Act, for Indian states and union territory. The study is entirely based on the latest available cross-sectional secondary data mainly compiled from National Crime Record Bureau, India, for 2018. The empirical analysis is facilitated by utilising “data envelopment analysis”, “ordinary least square regression” and “quantile regression”. The empirical results suggest that higher police efficiency helps in reducing reported POCSO incidences. The quantile regression analysis reveals a paradoxical result that a higher literacy rate enhances reported POCSO incidences. The children are found to be vulnerable to the crime committed by the known persons. This effect is found to be stronger in the upper quantile of depression than the median quantile. The study ends with suitable policy suggestions.

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Data Availability

The study is based on secondary data and all the data sources are mentioned in the text. For further details, kindly check Table 1. No additional data available.


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We also express our heartfelt gratitude to our institutional authorities for their cooperation. We are extremely grateful to the anonymous respected reviewers for their valuable comments to improve the quality of the paper. Finally, we express our indebtedness to the Editor in Chief of the journal International Journal on Child Maltreatment, manager Dr. Carmit Katz; without his kind cooperation, it is not possible to complete this work timely by maintaining the quality.

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Authors and Affiliations



S.M. conceived the study; participated in data compilation, its design and coordination; performed the statistical analyses; and drafted the manuscript. Finally, the author finalised the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shrabanti Maity.

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Table 7 Description of the variables utilised for measurement of police efficiency



Table 8 Correlation matrix


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Maity, S. Escalation of Police Efficiency Diminishes POCSO Incidences—Myth or Reality? Evidence from Indian States. Int. Journal on Child Malt. 5, 155–180 (2022).

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  • Police efficiency
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Quantile regression