- The police always find ways to be in the news, mostly for the wrong reasons, is a veritable fact demanding thorough scrutiny, analyses, humane understanding, and possible remedial measures to address the concerns that raise its ugly head regularly. High-handed approach, unholy nexuses, rampant corruption, inhumane disposition towards general complainants, inadequate infrastructure, insufficient pay & perks, disturbed family life, lack of training, excessive subjugation to political masters, and an extremely stressful work environment are some of the glaring anomalies demanding attention.
PC: DN Sahaya
- As the discerning observers and keen followers would second readily, the Honourable Supreme Court had passed strictures to introduce all-encompassing police reforms a few years back to precisely address the above issues that were long considered as roadblocks for modernizing the law enforcement agency keeping in line with the present-day requirements. Unfortunately, except for few cosmetic changes here and there, nothing concrete remotely resembling significant alterations in the forces are introduced yet.
- As per the report issued by the Common Cause in 2019, the single biggest problem facing the police forces is a shortage of personnel which shockingly stands at 77% of its sanctioned strength. Most alarmingly, it is observed that the shortages are greater in the senior ranks rather than among the lower echelons. The accepted ratio between the officer and constables should be 1:4 and make no mistake hardly any state in the country subscribes to the same other than West Bengal and Bihar. The state of Uttar Pradesh, in the news for Hathras episode, fares badly with roughly 50 percent of its sanctioned strength.
PC: dna Correspondent
- As can be seen, inadequate manpower to administer law and order often results in compromises as also places tremendous pressure on the existing personnel to work beyond usual hours stretching and straining the already thin resources to a breaking point. Just imagine working sixteen to eighteen hours at a stretch day-in-day-out without weekly-offs to rest and recover is not only inhuman but also untenable for long. No wonder, indiscipline, obesity, lack of physical fitness, want of skills to handle mobs, and impatience is bound to make presence whilst administering policing responsibilities.
- Compounding the numbers and terrible working hours is the lack of quality in-service training to keep the machinery well-oiled and primed to take on the anti-social elements’ positions the police forces in the most inopportune situation. Officer cadre though is likely to receive training but the same cannot be said about the foot soldiers rendering them mostly ineffective. Resources and infrastructure not provisioned to the police is also a factor pulling down the forces from performing optimally.
- Blaming police forces for every crime or unpleasant law and order situation is unjustified in the absence of adequate provisioning of resources and infrastructure. Therefore, it is incumbent on the part of the Central as well as State Government to not delay any further in introducing the much-needed reforms to enable the police to render services on the expected lines.