Police in Jharkhand take an average 234 minutes (around 4 hours) in reaching the place of occurrence after getting information about the crime. The average duration remains more or less same even in the cases of grievous nature of crimes like dacoity, loot, road robbery and murder.
This is contrary to the recommendations of Saraf Committee on Police Reforms that suggested a maximum response delay time of five minutes for police to reach to the place of occurrence.
A study conducted by a team of audit officials also revealed that police in this Naxal-infested state take an average 166 minutes (2 hours and 46 minutes) in starting its movement after hearing about the occurrence of crime.
"The scrutiny of records of all special reported (SR) cases in five text-checked districts-Deoghar, East Singhbhum (Jamshedpur), Hazaribag, Palamu and Ranchi-revealed that the police's average response time in Jharkhand is 234 minutes and average reaction time is 166 minutes," reads an audit report on Jharkhand, tabled in the Parliament, recently.
In police jargon, the 'response time' is duration between time of reporting of crime and time of reaching the place of occurrence of crime by police.
While the reaction time is the duration between time of reporting of crime and the time of movement of police.
The Saraf Committee, constituted by the Centre to suggest reforms in police, had also suggested that fixing of maximum response delay time is necessary to induct a sense of purpose and direction among police personnel.
The situation is worse in Palamu district where police take an average 386 minutes (six hours and 26 minutes) in reaching the place of occurrence and 346 minutes (five hours and 46 minutes) in starting its movement.
"Palamu, a Naxal-affected district, recorded the highest average reaction time (346 minutes) as well as response time (386 minutes), indicating the lack of readiness of the police to combat the crimes/ insurgency," the audit report said.
The Superintendent of Police, Palamu, Anoop T. Matthew, however, declined to make any comment on the audit report. "I am not aware about any such findings. I am yet to go through the report," he told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
In East Singhbhum (Jamshedpur), another Naxal-hit district, the police average reaction time is 118 minutes (around two hours) while average response time is 196 minutes (three hours and 16 minutes).
Situation is little better in Ranchi district, where average reaction time is just 62 minutes (one hour and two minutes) and average response time is 129 minutes (two hours and nine minutes).
The State's Director General of Police, Neyaz Ahmad could not be contacted for his comment.