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Police lack modern arms, amenities

Given the size of our country, there is only one policeman for every 716.83 people and he has to cover an area of 2.12 sq km, writes Cooshalee Samuel.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 05:25 IST

What is the current strength of our police force?

The total sanctioned strength of our police force (civil and armed) is 1,496, 276. Given the size of our country, this means that there is only one policeman for every 716.83 people and he has to cover an area of 2.12sq km. Compare this to the UK where there is one police officer for every 429 people.

What ails our police system?

Long and unfixed working hours, shoddy work place with almost zero amenities, shortage of basic needs such as fuel and vehicles, outdated arms, inadequate compensation, lack of housing and a hopelessly negative image.

What is the proportion of women in the police force?

As of 2004, the total strength of women personnel was 36, 552, which is a mere 2.4 per cent of the total sanctioned strength of the force. Out of this, over 75 per cent were constables with only seven inspectors general of police and five deputy inspectors general all over India.

What about modernisation and ICT technologies?

While Hong Kong alone has over 10, 000 terminals to support the police force in command and control, criminal records and forensics, the whole of India had 11,507 personnel terminals only.

What are the additional burdens on police personnel today?

Police forces are increasingly being deployed to provide security to VIPs such as ministers, MPs, legislators, judges and bureaucrats, and this trend is increasing.

How frequent are transfers?

Political interference has led to ad-hoc transfers of police personnel. For example, in 2003, 364-district superintendent of police and 68 DIG (Range) were transferred in less than two years across India.

What about the transport facilities available to them?

All over India there are 12,476 police stations with heavy, medium and light duty vehicles and two and three wheeler transport. But in reality most of these vehicles are not in use because of fuel shortage and poor condition of vehicles.

(Source: 2003-04 figures from the Bureau of Police Research and Development)

First Published: Oct 31, 2006 05:25 IST