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November 26, 2010 / subramanyam

Poor Police to People ratio and its impact

In these times, we do not need any one to tell us how important internal security is , we  are constantly living in the shadow of terror threats , Maoist and communal violence. The likes 26/11 and the series of terror bombings in the last 2 -3 years have created more doubts about our internal security. On that the domestic crime is also increasing , we are also seeing a sharp increase in the urban crime rate, We are seeing goons  and criminals who are resorting to every illegal activity one can account for.  Day after day we see an increase in the number of rapes, murders, kidnappings and financial frauds. In the days to come we are always going to see an increase in the crime rate o all fronts. Are we as a nation prepared to meet these new challenges of the new age???

It’s the police who has an important role in handling any internal security threat, but  is our police force prepared ? Did our leaders allow our Police force to prepare for these threats??? The answer is we are broke, The Government is broke. Our police force (across all the states) is grossly under populated , and also is working with outdated weaponry in many instances.

As per  nation master we stand 47th out of the 48 countries in terms of police people ratio. While the weighted average of the survey was 3 policemen per 1000 civilians we are barely managing with 0.95 per 1000 people. We are also falling short of the  UN norm of having at least 2.22 policemen per 1000 people.

Rank Countries Amount

# 1  Montserrat:   7.81501 per 1000

# 2  Mauritius:      7.28432 per 1000

# 3  Dominica:       6.40311 per 1000

# 4  Italy:                   5.55565 per 1000

# 5  Hong Kong:       4.79374 per 1000

# 6  Macedonia, :       4.7868   per 1000

# 7     Portugal:              4.64878 per 1000

# 8     Kazakhstan:         .7.81501 per 1000

# 9     Latvia:                 7.28432 per 1000

# 10  Czech Republic: .6.40311 per 1000

# 11  Slovakia:            5.55565 per 1000

# 12  Lithuania:          4.79374 per 1000

# 13  Malaysia:           4.7868   per 1000

# 14  Thailand:         4.64878 per 1000

# 15  Kyrgyzstan:    7.81501 per 1000

# 16  Slovenia:            7.28432 per 1000

# 17  Moldova:         6.40311 per 1000

# 18  Germany:         5.55565 per 1000

# 19  Ireland:             4.79374 per 1000

# 20  Hungary:         4.7868   per 1000

# 21  Spain:               4.64878 per 1000

# 22  South Africa:      7.81501 per 1000

# 23  Estonia:             7.28432 per 1000

# 24  Poland:              6.40311 per 1000

# 25  Jamaica:             5.55565 per 1000

# 26  Georgia:             4.79374 per 1000

# 27  Norway:              4.7868   per 1000

# 28  Turkey:               4.64878 per 1000

# 29  Iceland:                7.81501 per 1000

# 30  Romania:              7.28432 per 1000

# 31  Colombia:              6.40311 per 1000

# 32  Australia:              5.55565 per 1000

# 33  France:                 4.79374 per 1000

# 34  United Kingdom:  4.7868   per 1000

# 35  Switzerland:          4.64878 per 1000

# 36  Netherlands:         7.81501 per 1000

# 37  Denmark:              7.28432 per 1000

# 38  Chile:                     6.40311 per 1000

# 39  Korea, South:        5.55565 per 1000

# 40  Japan:                    4.79374 per 1000

# 41  Sri Lanka:             4.7868   per 1000

# 42  Canada:                 4.64878 per 1000

# 43  Zimbabwe:            7.81501 per 1000

# 44  Finland:               7.28432 per 1000

# 45  Zambia:                  6.40311 per 1000

# 46  Papua New Guinea5.55565 per 1000

# 47  India:                    4.79374 per 1000

# 48  Costa Rica:            4.7868   per 1000

Weighted average:3.0 per 1,000 people

As per one of the comments on the same page of NationMaster U.S. has an average ratio of 2.8 for 1000 people , this pushes us further down to the 49th position in the chart.

We have as many as 13.8 % posts vacant in various police departments across the country. This is a causing an additional load on the existing policemen and they are being forced to work round the clock. We see them working even on holidays , but even that’s not enough. Because the rate at which we are growing and urbanizing we will be having more and more threats and the need for the police to chip in is just going to increase.

Police handle a lot of things for us , right from the traffic management, to ACB, to general Law and Order, crime investigation , Excise , financial frauds , gathering evidence ,submitting the evidences to the courts, then Intelligence , the VIP security (the biggest job in the eyes of politicians) then anti –naxal drives,anti –terror drives if required  …… the list just goes on and on  and one shocking thing here is every year we lose about 1000 policemen

So why is this gross negligence from the successive governments on this department? Why aren’t the vacancies being filled??  I cannot understand, hence I used the word Broke.

Impacts of a poor Police people Ratio.

One major impact of this under staffed police force is Weak Intelligence; we have only 1-1.5 % of policemen working on intelligence. In this age with all these terror threats around can we really undermine the importance of Intelligence?? The states really need to beef up their intelligence wings and have more people on intelligence gathering jobs, this would help us understand the modus operandi of the terrorists and agencies supporting them.

An example, the government of India has set up Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in 2006. the basic aim of this unit was to go through suspicious transactions identify money laundering and hawala transactions and going in to the fake currency Rackets which support the sleeper cells (sleeper terrorist cells which remain inactive for a period of time and suddenly become active causing destruction) Today this department suffers from the lack of staff and we are unable to screen a lot of murky transactions.

One more disadvantage of this is the deployment of private agencies for security needs. In some cases we are depending on private agencies for security at public places also. You never know the levels of training the person from the agency gets, we never know the efficiency, We never know how much the agency spends on acquiring the latest technology. These factors make the areas run private agencies more prone to threats. What can be more worrying is the stability of the security agency itself, many a time we see companies closing operations all of a sudden thus sending things in to a tizzy. Imagine the situation “if the security agency actually conspires with the attackers??” But unfortunately it is possible.

Then you have urban crime which is rising like anything, drugs, narcotics, imbalanced life styles weak morals and the increasing rich-poor divide are driving urban youth towards crime. Police have a major role play here; they are the ones who should stop the flow of drugs etc. But lack of staff is not giving them the liberty to intervene in things of this sort.

And then the politics interfering with the functioning of the police, many politicians want their loyalists to be posted in their areas, so that the police of the area will not interfere much in murky deals of the politicians. This is increasing corruption and crime in the country.

Last but not least is  the Mob culture, you do not like something just go as a mob  and vandalise things of the people you dislike , your mob obviously outnumbers the police force and those chaps would be looking helpless . This is a very dangerous culture that’s spreading across India. The rioters are obviously exploiting the poor police –public ratio.


First and foremost increase the number of police in the country, the governments’ have started this but we need to speed this up.

Modernize, upgrade and train. We still see lathi flashing pot-bellied policeman walking on the roads . Neither he nor his weapon look effective in the case of emergency .Bring in the most modern equipment that’s being used in the developed  countries. Train the personall  to use them let the police carry fire arms even on a patrol or a normal duty. This gives them also the required confidence to take on emergencies. Also make sure these guys maintain their bodies properly and ensure they are fit. None of the criminals are going to be afraid of the pot belly, over weight lathi wielding cop.

Why didn’t I take up a job in police??? Pay is less, political interference is more and risk is high . Increase the pay and reduce the political influence you are going to see many good people joining the Department.

Well some of my thoughts need not be exactly correct and complete. I do feel there are many more additions to make, however reforms are a must for a secure India. Let’s hope the government takes these things into account before it’s too late.


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