Three years after the 26/11 terror attacks, the city continues to remain vulnerable with a 19% shortfall in the police force.
Only 33,287 police officers have been deputed against the sanctioned strength of 41,271 for Mumbai. This was revealed in a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by non-government organisation Praja Foundation.
“The state government has failed to recruit police personnel even after having sanctioned an additional 7,984 personnel,” said Nitai Mehta, founder trustee, Praja Foundation.
He added that it would require another study to determine whether 41,271 personnel is adequate for the 1.24 crore citizens of Mumbai (one policeman for 300 citizens). The report further stated that there is a shortage of 2,964 personnel in the 92 police stations across the city (excluding the cyber police station), a deficit of 14%.
SP Yadav, joint commissioner of police (administration) said, “There is a massive deficit in lower-rung positions. But the recruitment is in progress. We aim to hire 4,000 policemen and around 1.15 lakh people have applied for these openings.”
The RTI query also revealed a shortfall of 33% for assistant police inspectors (APIs) and 52% for police sub-inspectors (PSIs).
“APIs and PSIs are recruited by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission. There has been a huge backlog in their recruitment for the past five years. They have assured us that the recruitment will take place soon,” said Yadav.
The report also revealed that the traffic police is understaffed by 1,633 personnel (49%) and the police control room by 132 personnel (49%). Mehta said that Praja Foundation would send a petition to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, asking for reforms in the police force.