The Police force is essential for the maintenance of law and order, without which development cannot be achieved. For their efficient functioning, the police forces need modern equipment and infrastructure. As police is a state subject, it is the responsibility of the state governments to take care of the requirements of the forces.
The Delhi police is India’s best in terms of staffing, infrastructure, and use of budget, followed by Kerala and Maharashtra, a new study has revealed. Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Bihar are the worst and most overworked among the 22 states analyzed.
These findings are based on a Police Adequacy Index, derived from national data, part of the ‘Status of Policing in India Report 2019’, released on August 27, 2019, by Common Cause and Lokniti–Centre for the Study Developing Societies, a nonprofit and a think tank, respectively, based in New Delhi.
Findings from the report
Overall, as of 2016, Indian police forces were working at 77.4 percent of their sanctioned capacity, the study said, leading to personnel being overworked.
The study also pointed out the lack of diversity in the Indian police. About 86 percent of states (19 of 22) did not fulfill their Scheduled Castes (SC) quota, 73 percent (16 of 22) did not fulfill their Scheduled Tribes (ST) quotas while 59 percent (13 of 22) failed to fulfill their Other Backward Classes (OBC) quotas, it said.
None of the states achieved the mandated 33 percent representation of women in the police force. Further, while 14.3 percent of all police personnel were officers in 2016–up from 11.6 percent in 2007, the proportion of officers among policewomen has declined from 11.4 percent in 2007 to 10.2 percent in 2016.
Further, 267 police stations across India had no telephones and 129 had no wireless communication devices as of January 2017, as IndiaSpend reported on August 24, 2019, citing the latest available data from the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD). There were eight vehicles for every 100 police personnel for responding to distress calls, patrolling and maintaining law and order in their jurisdictions.
Across the 22 states analysed in the study, police stations had, on average, six computers each. Delhi had the highest (16.5 computers per police station) and Bihar had the lowest (0.6).
The utilization of police forces’ modernization budget was less than half (48 percent) of the funding available, according to an IndiaSpend analysis (cited above) of government data.
According to the “Status of Policing in India Report 2019”, police in India functions at three-fourth of its sanctioned strength.
Police being a State subject, the roles, functions, and duties at the different ranks vary across States. In general, however, as per the BPRD general guidelines, the personnel of ranks ASI and above are assigned the role of investigating officers (IOs) in cases. Therefore, a bulk of the crime investigation work, along with other decision-making duties are performed by the officers in most States. This makes it crucial for the sanctioned positions of officers, already in a much lower proportion than that of the constabulary, to be filled completely. The trend, however, is the reverse. Barring few exceptions, in most States the vacancies are much greater at the officer-level ranks, compared to the constabulary ranks.
At the all India level, only 6.4 percent of the Constables received in-service training on an average for the last five years. Against that, amongst personnel at ASI/SI, DySP (Deputy Superintendent) and IPS ranks, 17 percent, 27.2 percent, and 38.3 percent personnel respectively received in-service training.
It needs to be noted, however, that while the State is primarily responsible for imparting training to the constabulary and State-level officers, the Centre is primarily responsible for providing training to IPS officers.
Police without resources
- Twelve percent of personnel reported that there is no provision for drinking water in their police stations, 18 percent said there are no clean toilets, and 14 percent said there is no provision for a seating area for the public
- Forty-six percent of personnel have frequently experienced situations where they needed a government vehicle but it was not available. Further, 41 percent of personnel have frequently been in situations where they could not reach a crime scene on time because of lack of staff.
- The extent of the availability of digital and technological infrastructure is also poor. Eight percent personnel said that functional computers are never available at their police stations, 17 percent said that the CCTNS facility is never available and 42 percent said that forensic technology is never available at the police station
- Thirty-one percent of respondents from West Bengal and 28 percent of respondents from Assam said that a functional computer was never available at their police station/workplace. This is despite the fact that as per official data released by NCRB, Assam scores high on the level of compliance to CCTNS infrastructure.
- Almost one in three civil police personnel never received training on forensic technology.
Gender and Police
- Women police personnel are more likely to be engaged in in-house tasks, such as maintaining registers, data, etc., while male personnel is more likely to be involved in field-based tasks, such as investigation, patrolling, law and order duties, etc.
- One in five female personnel reported the absence of separate toilets for women at their police station/ workplace
- One in four policewomen said there was no sexual harassment committee in their police station/ jurisdiction
- Over half of the personnel (both men and women) feel that men and women in the police force are not given completely equal treatment. Policewomen at higher ranks are more likely to report discrimination
- States like Bihar, Karnataka, and West Bengal have the highest levels of bias against women in the police force, i.e., personnel from these States are most likely to believe that policewomen are less hardworking, less efficient, and should focus on their household duties.
- Nearly one in five police personnel is of the opinion that gender-based violence complaints are false and motivated to a very great extent
- Eight percent of personnel are of the opinion that transgenders are very much naturally inclined towards committing crimes
For more data on the report please refer to the link: https://www.commoncause.in/uploadimage/page/Status_of_Policing_in_India_Report_2019_by_Common_Cause_and_CSDS.pdf
National Scheme for Modernization of Police
The Union budget for 2019-’20 increased funding for police modernization by 8% over the previous year, but government data over five years to 2017 show that in many states, the modernization budget remains under-utilized, even as many of them lack elementary infrastructures such as telephones, wireless devices and transport vehicles.
Modernization includes the upgradation of weapons, communications systems including wireless devices and satellite networks and the development of forensic infrastructure including labs and training of manpower, among other matters.
Meanwhile, in this year’s budget, the allocation for police infrastructure – distinct from the modernisation allocation and including such heads as maintenance of existing vehicles, basic weapons and telephones – actually declined by 2%. As a result, police forces across India lack weapons and fundamental communications and transport infrastructure.
More than half of the police stations without wireless communication devices were in three states: Manipur had 30 such stations, Jharkhand had 22 such stations and Meghalaya had 18 such stations. Meanwhile, the number of police stations functioning without telephones declined by 10% from 296 in 2012 to 269 in 2017.
More than 45% of the stations without telephones were in three states: Uttar Pradesh with 51 such stations, Bihar with 41 such stations and Punjab with 30 such stations.
At the end of 2016, Indian police forces had, on average, one transport vehicle for 12.38 police personnel – an improvement from 15 per vehicle at the end of 2011.
Availability of transport infrastructure per 100 police personnel rose 19% from 6.78 by the end of 2011 to 8.08 by the end of 2016, due largely to a 500% increase in the number of vehicles such as mine-proof vehicles, forensic vans, prison trucks, and water tankers from 1,255 in 2011 to 7,536 in 2016.
The number of medium and light vehicles such as cars and jeeps increased only 21% from 76,088 light vehicles in 2012 to 92,043 light vehicles in 2016.
Yet, 273 police stations across the country had no transportation facilities by the end of 2016. Almost 90% of these were located in insurgency-hit Chhattisgarh with 126 stations, neighboring Telangana with 91 such stations, and Manipur with 25 such stations, which also experiences internal conflict.