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Policing in India - Un-professional or Un-accountable.

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Today, maintaining law and order in society has had become an odd kind of job since the last few decades' surge in crime and Increased internet and digital connectivity has created new opportunities for criminals. The growing rate of crime on daily basis has put immense pressure on the police departments while facing a shortage of manpower and a growing corruption-induced deficit of trust in society.

“Police is more a service provider than the force”

If the above quote is assumed to be true that means police should follow a more citizen-friendly approach rather than just detection and prevention of crime and maintaining law and order. Society is changing at a rapid pace thanks to the advent of information-providing technology that now a large section of society is aware of their rights and has become more demanding and vigilant. Police departments also have to be in sync with it and be more competent to build trust and credibility.

Taking into account the recent events which shows how much the public is enraged at the police that for every other criminal case, there arises a demand for the case to be probed by the central investigation agency CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), this shows lack of credibility of police departments in our country.

So why does police is losing its credibility is a question of debate some of the most disputed points are

1. Police are acting as a pawn of the infamous money-politics nexus. Since in our country maintenance of law and order is a state subject so local politicians, influential people, and other muscle-mans exercise considerable pressure on local police and disrupt their work. The nexus between police and politics is not a new theory that also gives rise to corruption.

2. The Second notion about police is that they are incompetent in handling high profile cases – it is again a question of autonomy, police under the pressure of politicians either act reluctantly or biasedly in high profile cases which erodes their credibility, which is usually not very high.

3. In India, corruption has its firm roots in the entire governance system, but particularly the police department first comes under the radar and is alleged to be the most corrupt – seemingly the working condition and regular dealing with criminals have hugely dented their moral principles and values which has become one of the causes for brewing corruption.

4. Lastly, without adequate police and governance reforms, the growing societal complexities and the new methods employed for committing crimes have made police less effective and prone to existential crises.

To overcome these new set of challenges, our bureaucracy, and legislatures across India need a strong will that can bring some reforms to push up the department’s credibility by making it administratively a) autonomous, b) providing security of tenure to the officers, c) progressive steps to dismantle politics-police nexus, d) provide better infrastructure (at police stations, Chowki, etc.) and other logistics support to improve the already dilapidated working condition. Trust building camps should be organized to bridge the trust deficit and make a friendly environment for police and citizens interaction.

And finally making police more citizen-centric and service-oriented will help them to prevent crime and will also prove to be a deterrence for those unscrupulous elements who take advantage of these differences and cause riots, and law & order situations.

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