Buoyed by the results of a pilot project that offered a day off each week to constables and sub-inspectors, police in Uttar Pradesh has decided to implement the scheme across the state, officials said on Thursday.
The scheme was started on trial basis at the Gomtinagar police station May 31.
The first week of the implementation of the scheme has brought "tremendous change in the system", officials told IANS on Thursday.
The decision to offer a day off each week to policemen across the state was taken after "happy feedback" was received from the families of the men, who got such respite for the first time in their service.
On the instructions of Director General of Police (DGP) Devraj Nagar, police chiefs of Varanasi and Gorakhpur have been asked to implement the scheme in their districts too.
Officials conceded that they had never thought of a day off for policemen until Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Lucknow, Navneit Sikera first came up with the idea.
Happy that his proposal has found such all-round acceptance, Sikera told IANS that the "sole objective was to bring the cops close to their families, allow them to spend quality time with them, to encourage them to work with greater efficiency".
He said it was a good feeling that this simple measure was working well.
Sources say the top brass of the police force has given the go-ahead for this scheme to be implemented in a phased manner across the state.
District police chiefs have been sounded out on it.
Spiralling rates of crime and police forces being short-staffed will continue to cause hurdles, officials admit, adding that these problems were also being addressed.
Constables and sub-inspectors in Uttar Pradesh were allowed 30 days off as casual leave, and 30 days of earned leave each year. They were not allowed a day off each week. Stress levels were thus found to be very high among policemen. This was seen as the cause of their erratic and abusive behaviour while dealing with the public.
Uttar Pradesh has the largest police force in the world working under a single command.