Under the Constitution, police is a subject governed by states. The centre is also allowed to maintain its own police forces to assist the states with ensuring law and order.
The primary role of police forces is to uphold and enforce laws, investigate crimes and ensure security for people in the country. In a large and populous country like India, police forces need to be well-equipped, in terms of personnel, weaponry, forensic, communication and transport support, to perform their role well.
Issues with Police system:
1) Illegitimate political interference: Police have become the ‘subjects’ of Parliamentarians and legislators – with a high degree of politicization and allegiance towards ruling party.
2) Poor Police infrastructure: Modern policing requires a strong communication support, state-of-art or modern weapons, and a high degree of mobility. The CAG has noted shortcomings on several of these fronts.
3) Police accountability: Police forces have the authority to exercise force to enforce laws and maintain law and order in a state. However, this power may be misused in several ways.
4) Lack of proper training: The police personnel lack the training measures which deteriorate their performing capacity while applying investigation technique.
5) Lowest police-to-population ratio: The global average ratio of police-population is 270 to 100,000, where it’s 120 in India. With far less police –ill-equipped and most of them posted to protect the political representatives, people of India are the least secured people on the globe.
6) Corruption: A Delhi Police survey found 34% of the cops to be corrupt in 2015, down from 66% in 2014 (reported TOI).
- Police forces need to be well-equipped, in terms of personnel, weaponry, forensic, communication and transport support, to perform their role well.
- They need to have the operational freedom to carry out their responsibilities professionally, and satisfactory working conditions while being held accountable for poor performance or misuse of power.
- Constituting Police Complaints Authorities at the state and district levels to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct and abuse of power by police personnel.
- Separate the investigating police from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
- Establishing a Police Establishment Board in every state that will decide postings, transfers and promotions for officers below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and make recommendations to the state government for officers of higher ranks.
- Infrastructure development – Due to lack of training & infrastructure, police personnel fail to follow the standards required for investigation of any crimes.
The transformative reforms in the Indian Police is possible through appropriate interventions in skill building and attitudinal training, through reforms that are both bold and practical, and through collective action of all stakeholders to drive a nationwide campaign for change, keeping in mind, the difficult conditions under which our police functions.