Even cops avoid sending their daughters ALONE to the police station
Political interference emerged as the biggest factor adversely impacting crime investigation, with about every three out of ten police personnel reporting it. In fact, in the past 2–3 years of their work experience, two out of three personnel reported frequently facing political pressures.
This country is broken; it needs fixing. There are vultures lurking not only in the shadows but also in the guise of people who are supposed to be guardians of the law.
According to the 2019 Status of Policing in India report, one in five police officers in India would not allow their daughters to go alone to a police station outside their jurisdiction, to report a crime.
The report on police adequacy and working conditions, prepared by the NGO Common Cause and the Lokniti programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, was released yesterday (August 27).
Here are the highlights from the report that surveyed about 11,834 officers from police stations and 10,535 family members from 20 states.
It’s not easy policing
Policing in India is no easy task. Long hours, lack of a weekly day off and a shortage of basic resources, as well as external pressures at work are reported by personnel across States, reflecting an urgent need for enhancing resources, both human as well as physical.
Not only do the police work 14 hours a day on an average, their chances of getting a weekly off is at best around 50 per cent. The police in Punjab and Odisha reported working an average of 17 and 18 hours a day.
One out of four policemen also said that senior officers ask their juniors to do their personal/ household work, though they are not meant to do it; about two-fifths of the police also reported that senior officers use offensive language while talking to their subordinates/ juniors. A staggering three out of four of the constabulary reported having very little autonomy in their jobs.
Lack of resources
With basic facilities like a toilet or drinking water still not available in one out of every 10 police stations, the infrastructure is far from perfect. Bihar comes across as particularly backward in providing basic facilities.
Just about two-thirds of the civil police reported that they have access to a functioning computer, while only over half of the civil police reported that they had access to the CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems) programme. About 240 police stations across the 22 States have no access to vehicles.
When the police personnel were asked about the steps that the government needs to take to enable them to do their job better, the most common response was ‘increasing staff and their training’, followed by an‘increase in facilities and infrastructure’ provided to them.
Political interference emerged as the biggest factor adversely impacting crime investigation, with three out of ten police personnel complaining of interference. In fact, in the past 2–3 years, two out of three personnel reported facing strong political pressures.
This was followed by non-cooperation of witnesses. About seventy percent of the police personnel reported non-cooperation from witnesses.
This pattern is also seen in cases involving influential people, where police reported facing political pressure and departmental pressure during investigations.
Bias against women officers
The study found that the police system reeks of bias against women in the police, with about one in four male personnel demonstrating high levels of bias against their female colleagues. This situation was particularly bad in Bihar and Karnataka, with nearly sixty per cent reporting high bias.
About one fifth of the police personnel reported that complaints of gender-based violence are generally false and motivated. In a country where 99 per cent of the complaints of sexual violence are still unreported, this narrative raises pertinent questions about the attitude of the law enforcers towards victims of gender violence.
Caste and community
The perception of a community being naturally prone to committing crimes was the highest for Muslims, with roughly one in two holding the opinion that Muslims are “naturally prone” to committing crimes.
The report also found that 35 per cent of police personnel interviewed for the survey think it is natural for a mob to punish the “culprit” in cases of cow slaughter, and 43 per cent think it is natural for a mob to punish someone accused of rape.
Representation of SCs, STs, OBCs and women in the police is poor, with huge vacancies in the reserved positions. There are 60 and 53 per cent vacancies in the reserved posts of SCs in UP and Haryana respectively, significantly higher than the overall vacancies in those States. SCs, STs, OBCs and women are also less likely to be recruited/posted at officer-level ranks than general police personnel.