Conference of the Directors General of Police: Overview of Policing

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    In News

    A conference of the Directors General of Police of all the states and union territories was held in Delhi.

    About Conference 

    • It is an annual feature which is organised by the Intelligence Bureau 
    • Its deliberations are presided over by the Director, IB, who is considered primus inter pares among the senior-most police officers of the country.
    • The conference discussed emerging trends in militancy and hybrid militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, Counter Terrorism challenges, Left Wing Extremism, capacity building, Prison Reforms, Cyber Crime, drug trafficking, radicalisation,  and other important matters. 
    • The conference is the culmination of extensive deliberations involving police & intelligence officers from the district, state, and national levels on identified themes. 
    • Relevance : It provides a congenial atmosphere for the top police officials of the country to directly brief the Prime Minister on key policing and internal security issues affecting the country, and give their open and frank recommendations. 

     Policing in India 

    • “Police” being a State subject in the seventh schedule to the Constitution of India, it is primarily the State Governments who have to implement the various police reforms measures. 
    • The Centre has been making consistent efforts to persuade the States from time to time to bring the requisite reforms in the Police administration to meet the expectations of the people.

    Existing Issues 

    • The grassroots problems are seldom taken up or deliberated upon. 
    • Leaving aside the model police stations and some in the metro cities, the average police station presents a dismal picture — 
      • Dilapidated building, 
      • Case property like motorcycles and cars littered all over the compound, no reception room, 
      • Filthy lockup, ramshackle furniture, 
      • Police registers kept in clumsy racks, and so on. 
    • The staff, overworked and fatigued, is generally unresponsive, if not rude and resources are meagre
    • Some politicians may turn up to influence or even bully police to do things differently.
    • According to the Status of Policing in India Report 2019, police in India work at 77 percent of their sanctioned strength and this personnel work for 14 hours a day on average. 
    • Housing facilities are unsatisfactory.
    •  Training of personnel is abysmal; the training institutions have not kept pace with the changing paradigm on the law or crime front and are manned generally by unwanted, demotivated officers. 
      • Technology support leaves much to be desired; 
    • the criminals are, in fact, way ahead of the police.
    • It is estimated that since Independence, 36,044 police personnel have died in the performance of their duties. 
      • Police duties in India are tougher than in any other part of the world, and these are going to get tougher in the days to come.
    • Other issues 

    Committees / Commission on Police Reforms

    • Various Committees/Commissions in the past have made a number of important recommendations regarding police reforms. 
    • Notable amongst these are those made by
      •  the National Police Commission (1978-82); 
      • the Padmanabhaiah Committee on restructuring of Police (2000); and
      •  the Malimath Committee on reforms in Criminal Justice System (2002-03).
      • Yet another Committee, headed by Shri Ribero, was constituted in 1998, on the directions of the Supreme Court of India, to review action taken by the Central Government/State Governments/UT Administrations in this regard, and to suggest ways and means for implementing the pending recommendations of the above Commission.

    NITI Aayog’s Suggestions 

    • A Niti Aayog has suggested the enactment of an organized crimes act, providing statutory backing to the CBI and moving police as well as public order to the Concurrent List to tackle increasing inter-state crime and terrorism under a unified framework.

    Supreme Court’s Prakash Singh judgement on police reforms 

    • In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court in September 2006 had directed all states and Union Territories to bring in police reforms.

    Conclusion and Way Forward 

    • Terrorist crimes, cybercrimes, drug trafficking, cryptocurrency, etc, are all very important subjects. 
      • These must be discussed and strategies planned to tackle them
    • The police station must be reinforced with adequate staff and its infrastructure upgraded with better transport, communication, and forensic facilities.
    • There is a need for making the police forces more sensitive and train them in emerging technologies. 
      • We should further leverage technological solutions like biometrics etc.
    • There is a need for enhanced cooperation between the State Police and Central Agencies to leverage capabilities and share best practices. 
    • It is high time that the basics are taken care of. Once the police station becomes an effective unit, inspiring confidence among the people, many other things would automatically fall into place.

    Mains Practise Question 

    [Q] The policing system in India needs to be reformed to be in tune with present-day scenarios. Comment