Topic: All India Citizens Survey of Police Services
Topic in Syllabus: General Studies Paper 2 : Indian Governance
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on February 21, 2019 announced to conduct a pan-India survey called ‘All India Citizens Survey of Police Services’ to gauge public perception of police.
Objectives of the study:
- To understand public perceptions about Police
- To gauge the level of non-reporting of crimes or incidents to Police
- To measure the position on ground relating to crime reporting & recording, timeliness and quality of police response
- Better policy formulation and Implementation
- To assess citizens’ perception and experience about women and children’s safety
More about on survey:
- The survey will commence in March, 2019 and cover a representative sample of 1.2 lakh households spread over 173 districts based on the National Sample Survey framework.
- The survey will be completed in 9 months.
- The survey will be conducted through the National Council of Applied Economic Research, New Delhi.
- The outcome of the survey is expected to bring out useful suggestions for stakeholders in formulating appropriate policy responses in the functioning of police.
- It is also important for Improving crime prevention and investigation, transformation in community policing and improvement in the access to the justice.
Problems with existing Policing system:
- The police does not have functional responsibility while remaining under the supervision of the political executive.
- Political control of police by the political executive is not conditioned and is not kept within its legitimate bounds.
- Internal management systems are not fair and transparent.
- Policing efficiencies have decreased in terms of their core functions.
- Public complaints are not addressed properly and police accountability is comparatively less.
Issues in Policing
- NHRC has made it very clear that “with every passing year, the evidence before the Commission mounts that there must be major police reforms in the country if the human rights situation is to be improved”
- Political authorities have a stronghold over police this nexus affects the credibility of the police too.
- Most of the times the State Police Training Schools where a large majority of policemen undergo training are ill equipped, starved of funds and staffed by unwilling instructors.
- It is general observation that the intelligence gathering efforts are devoted mainly to gathering information about major law and order problems, while adequate attention is not paid to collection of intelligence relating to commission of crimes.
- Since the police is the primary agency of the criminal justice system which protects human rights, it is essential to sensitise police personnel to gender issues.
- Gender disparity is another issue as in the criminal justice system, the representation of women is low in all wings and especially the police.
Various expert Bodies on Police Reforms
- National Police Commission (1977-81)
- Ribeiro Committee (1988)
- Padmanabhaiah Committee (2000)
- Malimath Committee (2002-03)
- Supreme Court Directives on Prakash Singh vs Union of India (2006)
- Second Administrative Reform Commission recommendation on Police Reform
Need for police reforms:
- Police act in India is primarily based on 1861 act, which is contrary to democratic requirement.
- Lack of technological capabilities necessary to perform quality investigations.
- Politicization and allegiance towards ruling party.
- Lowest police-to-population ratio. Due to which people of India are least secured people on the globe.
- Corruption is a major challenge.
- Lack of effective accountability mechanisms.
- Registering a criminal case against a police officer is a long and unwieldy process.
- Lack of effective means to collect and analyse the intelligence data collected.
- Deteriorating quality of state investigation departments.
- Lack of coordination within police departments.
- Representation of women and depressed caste is low which make them insensitive towards them
Supreme Court directives in Prakash Singh case:
- Set up a Police Establishment Board (PEB) to decide transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of police officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and make recommendations on postings and transfers above the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
- Constitute a State Security Commission (SSC) to provide policy guidelines and ensure that the state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.
- Ensure that the DGP is appointed through merit based transparent process and secure a minimum tenure of two years.
- Ensure that other police officers on operational duties (including Superintendents of Police in-charge of a district and Station House Officers in-charge of a police station) are also provided a minimum tenure of two years.
- Separate the investigation and law and order functions of the police.
- Set up a Police Complaints Authority (PCA) at state level to inquire into public complaints against police officers of and above the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in cases of serious misconduct, including custodial death, grievous hurt, or rape in police custody and at district levels to inquire into public complaints against the police personnel below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in cases of serious misconduct.
- Set up a National Security Commission (NSC) at the union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organisations (CPO) with a minimum tenure of two years.
National police commission:
- The National Police Commission appointed by the government in 1977 felt that “far reaching changes have taken place in the country” since independence but “there has been no comprehensive review of the police system after independence despite radical changes in the political, social and economic situation in the country”.
- The government’s response to the core recommendations of the National Police Commission was unfortunately negative..
Steps taken by the government:
- Commonwealth Human Rights initiatives: It aims to realize increased demand for right-based police reform and strengthening of police accountability in the Commonwealth.
- In April, 2010 Delhi came up with a Draft Delhi Police (Amendment Bill). It disturbed the internal logic of the Principal Delhi Police Act of 1978 and in every way thwarted the directives of the Apex Court.
- The National Intelligence Gridor NATGRID: Is the integrated intelligence grid connecting databases of core security agencies of the Government to collect comprehensive patterns of intelligence that can be readily accessed by intelligence agencies.
- The Indian Police Foundation was inaugurated in 2015 to mount pressure on State governments to implement the directions of the Supreme Court on police reforms (Prakash Singh v. Union of India).
Way forward to improve Policing System in India:
- Community Policing can be promoted– “Community Policing is an area specific proactive process of working with the community for prevention and detection of crime, maintenance of public order and resolving local conflicts and with the objective of providing a better quality of life and sense of security”.
- SMART Policing should be focused upon- SMART i.e. Strict and Sensitive, Modern and Mobile, Alert and Accountable, Reliable and responsive, Tech savvy and Trained.
- Police Training– Training should focus on bringing in attitudinal change in police so that they become more responsive and sensitive to citizens’ needs.
- Gender Parity in Police force– The 2nd Administrative Reform Commission recommended that the representation of women in police at all levels should be increased through affirmative action so that they constitute about 33% of the police.
- Improvement in Forensic Infrastructure -There is need to expand the forensic facilities and upgrade them technologically. Every district or a group of districts having 30 to 40 lakhs population should have a forensic laboratory.
- Improvement in Intelligence gathering– The intelligence gathering machinery in the field needs to be strengthened and at the same time, made more accountable. Human intelligence should be combined with information derived from diverse sources with the focus on increased use of technology.
Critically analyze the various issues in policing? And suggest the way ahead to improve policing in India?