It is a fact that while the city police have taken other initiatives to enhance safety and vigil, the shortage of manpower seems to be posing a huge challenge, according to the officials in various stations across the city. There is a shortage of over 5 lakh police personnel in the country as compared to their overall sanctioned strength.
With the increasing rate of crimes, shortage of manpower will have an impact both on crime prevention and detection. Inspectors and SIs at the police stations have little time to focus on all cases and investigation is usually confined to sensational cases or grave crimes.
There are Police personnel who are also complaining of stress due to over working. Deployment of police for traffic regulation and accident-prevention activities also takes a beating. There are occasion where most of the time Police personnel goes attending to day-to-day functions like VIP security, public agitations etc. For every Indian VIP, there are three police personnel. There are as many as 47,557 cops protecting 14,842 VIPs across the country which comes to a ratio of three to one. The incidents of chain and bag snatching have also been reported frequently across the city. While residents and experts stress the need for increased patrolling, the question arises if there are enough policemen to do the job. The shortage of staff often leads to delay in investigation and filing of charge-sheet in cognizable offences. There should be no compromise in the deployment of men for vehicle checks, night patrolling and traffic regulation. Unlike the Assembly elections, where Central paramilitary forces were roped in for security, the State police have to manage the local body polls with the available strength. With no major recruitment done in recent times and thousands of police personnel retiring each year, the vacancies are set to increase, making it difficult for police to manage the election along with routine duties.
There is now a serious requirement for the execution of the proposed system as the city population is growing and a stronger police force is needed to tackle crime and law and order situations. It is also reported that more and more police personnel were being diagnosed for hypertension, diabetes and stress-related ailments in the annual health screening camps.
The situation is more or less the same in many stations in the city where police personnel are forced to put in extra hours. Therefore, the State Government should recruit personnel on a war footing.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)