Improved law and order is essential for inviting investment from industrialists and entrepreneurs in Uttar Pradesh. And this can't be achieved without police reforms and non-politicisation of the force, said former UP director general of police (DGP) Prakash Singh, addressing the session 'Urban-regeneration and governance in UP', at Hindustan Times' Development Conclave on Saturday.
Singh is known as the architect of police reforms and was awarded the Padmshree in 1999. He said increasing manpower and equipping the force with latest technology were key reforms the government should undertake, pointing out that investors look for safety and security. "To improve law and order, police wings like Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID), Anti Corruption Organisation (ACO), Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and Vigilance, should be strengthened."
He advocated sufficient power to these agencies to initiate stern action against corrupt senior officials.
Singh reminded the gathering the SC had summoned chief secretaries of four states in December 2011 and directed them to look into law and order issues but not much initiative had been taken in UP.
"The police force was constituted for the safety of common people but during the last 20 years, police have become an instrument for political parties in power to suppress their opponents. Every party uses them in its own way," he said.
Later, Singh suggested a police role in improving traffic systems and evolving an effective vigil system to curb crime and terrorism. He said the centre is preparing a blue print for urban policing which would include all these points.
However, he highlighted the casual approach towards police reforms, pointing pointed out the shortage of manpower in the state. While the international standard ratio is 222 policemen for every 1 lakh of population, but the state ratio is 75 cops for 1 lakh people.
Besides, he said, the commissioner system considered to be the better way of policing was first discussed around 34 years ago, but had still not been implemented in UP though it was functional in 38 cities of other states.
Singh also bemoaned the lack of latest technology, like Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) among our police force. The system would enable registration of FIRs online, facilitate maintenance of records and introduce transparency in the department. Above all, Singh concluded, the UP government should focus on proper registration of complaints to provide security to the common people.