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India’s police force among the world’s weakest

India’s police force among the world’s weakest

According to a 2018 survey of 15,562 respondents across 22 states on perceptions about policing, the Lokniti team at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) found that less than 25% of Indians trust the police highly (as compared to 54% for the army).

Why Indians don’ trust Indian Police?

A big reason for distrust is that the interactions with the police is time consuming, expensive and frustrating.According to the latest available data, 30% of all cases filed in 2016 were pending for investigation by the end of the year.

Secondly, lack of adequate resources coupled with manpower is another major reason for dismal performance of Indian police force.

The sanctioned strength of the police across states was around 2.8 million in 2017 (the year with the latest available data) but only 1.9 million police officers were employed (a 30% vacancy rate).

India has 144 police personnel per 1 lakh population, making India’s police to population ratio one of the weakest in the world. India’s police-to-population ratio lags behind most countries and the United Nations-recommended ratio of 222.

Police: A State Subject

Policing in India is a state subject which means there is significant variation across states. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal’s police forces are all extremely understaffed with less than 100 police staff for 100,000 population.

The only states with police forces that meet the global standard are the police forces in the insurgency-affected states in the North-East and Punjab.

Decreased spending on police in recent years is adding to the resource crunch. Between fiscal 2011 and 2015, states spent 4.4% of their budgeted expenditure on policing on average but this has reduced to 4% over the last four years, according to PRS Legislative Research.

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