Problems and Challenges Faced by the Indian Police System - Seeker's Thoughts

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Problems and Challenges Faced by the Indian Police System



Problems and Challenges Faced by the Indian Police System


Indian police system faces many problems and challenges daily, such as political interference, understaffing, lack of training and poor technology.


Expert committees have recommended eliminating political interference in police functions and creating policy guidelines for state police to abide by the law. Furthermore, they urge setting up complaints authorities as well as guaranteeing minimum tenures of two years for key police officers.


Lack of accountability


Indian police forces face numerous difficulties and challenges on a daily basis, such as lack of accountability, understaffing, and political interference. To improve quality policing across India, the central government maintains various armed police and paramilitary forces such as Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Indo Tibetan Border Police Force and Sashastra Seema Bal; these provide intelligence as well as financial support to state police departments across India. Furthermore, satellite-based communications network construction for police departments.


India's police system is often accused of corruption and political partisanship, leading many people to mistrust its operation and abuse their power for personal gain rather than serving the public good. People also often express frustration at its inefficiency.


These issues are compounded by police being understaffed and lacking modern equipment, according to a report issued by the CAG. As per this report, most police stations have inadequate weapons and ammunition supplies, as well as limited police vehicles in short supply and an outdated communication system which limits police effectiveness.


Furthermore, police forces have come under scrutiny due to allegations of torture and extrajudicial killings, lack of transparency in operations, failing to address public complaints, as well as frequent officer transfers during investigations that disrupts evidence gathering and leads to inefficient functioning - an ongoing problem within police forces that must be addressed immediately. Police reform can help restore public trust; one important way is by separating law enforcement from executive branch to minimize political interference while making sure officers remain accountable.




Indian law enforcement personnel are inadequate, an issue which significantly impairs their ability to uphold and investigate crimes. There are only 192 policemen per lakh of the population - well below what is recommended by the UN and their numbers continue to decrease due to attrition and retirement.


The police force is in dire need of resources, such as technology, skills training and forensic capabilities. Political interference and inadequate compensation further strain its resources, creating poor working conditions for officers who often feel frustrated and undervalued - in fact a 2018 survey discovered only 25% of Indians trust the police highly due to perceptions that they are corrupt, ineffective and politically biased.


As well as addressing these problems, police must also focus on improving police-public relations by ensuring citizens are treated fairly and that their complaints are heard. Gender sensitivity must also be ensured within police personnel to protect women's rights and ensure protection of women's rights are upheld. Finally, independent complaint authorities at state and district levels that are free from political influence and can investigate allegations of misconduct among officers must also be established by them.


Indian authorities have taken several steps to enhance police-public relations, yet much more needs to be done. First and foremost, it must ensure that the police force has adequate funding and tools for performing its duties effectively - this may involve substantial investments in equipment and infrastructure as well as changing culture within police organizations. Furthermore, creating a national police academy as well as regional ones would give better career opportunities and allow more seamless relocation from state to state for personnel serving on police forces.


Lack of training


Many police officers lack the training needed to perform their jobs effectively, leading to errors that can have fatal repercussions for victims and their families. Furthermore, insufficient numbers of police stations and officers exist to support India's growing population.


Due to increasing civilian support, police rely heavily on civilian support in meeting their daily operational needs. Police can often feel pressured from residents in local communities to pay bribes in exchange for accessing buildings or providing services like registration of crime reports. They are also vulnerable to political interference and abuse of power from those within government; traditionally marginalized groups including poor people, women, Dalits (formerly untouchables), religious and sexual minorities and religious minorities are particularly susceptible to abuse from police because they tend not pay bribes nor have the means necessary to file cases against police officers themselves.


Police officers are frequently underpaid and overworked. Some states use a salary system that does not reflect rank or experience; constables might only receive one promotion during their careers until retiring as head constable, creating an incentivised disincentive to perform well. Furthermore, according to the Second Administrative Reforms Commission report on police reform, superiors sometimes employ constables as orderlies for domestic work which diminishes morale while diverting them away from core policing duties.


Corruption is compounded by the police being unequipped to recognize or combat it, with few internal capacity to investigate allegations of corruption and the police commission system in India's larger cities allowing politicians to intervene regularly with police operations, harass their opponents, or simply use police operations as cover for political gain.


Lack of technology


India's police forces face numerous difficulties in maintaining order throughout a vast and varied nation like India. These include issues related to training and resources shortages, political interference, as well as handling complaints and investigations from citizens. Police force play an essential role, so any quality work may have serious ramifications for citizen safety.


The central government is responsible for overseeing policing in seven union territories and provides financial and intelligence assistance to state police forces. Furthermore, they administer national policing agencies like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy and North Eastern Police Academy.


In 2015, the National Crime Records Bureau received more than 73 lakh reports of cognizable crimes that did not require a warrant to investigate, such as murder and rape. Meanwhile, non-cognizable cases far outnumbered cognizable ones due to alcohol-prohibition crime, theft, kidnapping/abduction/violence against women cases being more frequent.


Modern police technology is key to improving efficiency and serving their community more efficiently, yet India lacks an integrated information management system which connects all their systems. This presents a major problem because police officers are not allowed access to various databases for accessing data.


At times, police officers can become transferred during investigations which leads to delays and decreases the quality of investigations - this is particularly problematic in fake encounter cases and custodial deaths investigations. Furthermore, law enforcement officials often come under suspicion of using excessive violence during arrests and other incidents.


Political interference


Political interference is one of the greatest challenges facing police services today, spanning all levels from top to bottom. Politicians use their influence to interfere with policing decisions when arresting politicians or other high-profile targets; this can delay investigations, be detrimental to public safety, and possibly result in corruption.


At its core, police officers should be free to carry out their duties without political interference. Therefore, it's necessary for there to be a distinct line between day-to-day policing and policy issues; unfortunately this isn't always possible due to intimidation tactics being employed against officers by political forces.


Politians interfere with police by giving orders for certain actions to be taken, either directly or through intermediary sources such as local fatheras. This often results in corrupt and inefficient policing practices.


Politico-partisan interference has been addressed by various committees and commissions, such as the Second Administrative Reforms Commission, Law Commission, Padmanabhaiah Committee and more recently by the Supreme Court's landmark judgment in Prakash Singh vs Union of India by suggesting reform measures.


Politicians should make it a part of their code of conduct to stay out of interference with police operations, and ensure their subordinates do not succumb to political pressures that attempt to influence them. This will help improve efficiency while simultaneously making them more independent. Police personnel must also be made aware that they have taken an oath to uphold constitutional values and laws as per constitutional standards, thus any attempts at subverting this pledge is unacceptable.

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