The city’s population may have crossed the 1 crore mark, but it has only 15,000 policemen to maintain law and order in the city. While 12,060 of these are the civil police (including 2,800 traffic policemen), about 3,400 are CRPF.
This essentially means that for a population of 1 lakh people, there are less than 120 police men which is actually less than the UN recommended ratio of 200 police per lakh population.
There is also the fact to consider that at least 1/5th of the entire police force of 15,000 has been deployed towards the security of VIPs and important installations in the city.
Raghavendra Auradkar, the city police commissioner, reveals at least 3,000 policemen are involved in the protection of installations such as the Vidhana Soudha and the security of VIPs.
“On any given day, at least half of them are deputed to protecting important installations in the city and towards the security of very important persons,” Auradkar said.
This leaves anywhere between 9,000 and 10,000 people for actual law enforcement and protection of the people. A shortage that is at the point of being crisis.
If shortage in manpower is one threat to the city, the inability of the policemen to understand the changing crime scene is also an equally disturbing problem as crimes, criminals and the modus of operation change along with the demographics of the city changes, according to Auradkar.
The shortage in manpower has also affected the capacity building of the police, according to Auradkar, who said that training the entire force in one go was next to impossible. “I have found that many police are not exposed to proper information gathering,” he said adding that in order to manage the problems of the city, a reorganisation of the police is necessary.
“I think the most important thing to do right now is to strengthen the police stations and some basic initiatives have been implemented towards this, such as decentralising the DCP office,” said Auradkar.
DCPs to Be Made Accountable
DCPs will be made accountable to the area under their jurisdiction. Auradkar said he has issued orders to set up a divisional special branch and a divisional crime records bureau.
“Each divisional special branch will be provided with one inspector, two sub-inspectors and about 10-15 constables. The divisional crime records bureau will also be provided one sub inspector or inspector with a supporting staff of 5-6 policemen. Thus the pressure on the DCP’s office as well as police stations will be reduced as right now the men are drawn from the police stations,” he said.
Even if to a small extent, police stations can be strengthened in this way, he added.
Moreover, the work can also be done more efficiently, he added, explaining that once this is set up, if something happens in Peenya, a special branch official who is stationed in the Commissioner of Police’s office has to travel till there.
“Instead by stationing them in the DCP’s office, it is easier to both get the information and to reach the destination. Police work is after all, a matter of common sense and this is a simple solution to improve efficiency,” he said.
While he hopes that these steps will go a long way in helping crime prevention in the city, he added that the vacancies in the police force in the city need to be urgently filled, especially those at the lower levels of the police force, such as police constables, head constables, assistant sub inspectors and so on.
With the orders for setting up divisional special branch and crime records bureau being given already, it is expected to be set up in the next 10- 15 days.