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Survey on Police and perception of “sensitivity”

Context:

According to a survey (SMART Policing Index) conducted by Indian Police Foundation (IPF), a think tank run by retired IPS officers and academics – Police in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh scored the lowest among all States when it came to perception of “sensitivity”.

Relevance:

GS-II: Governance (Transparency and Accountability, Government Policies and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the SMART Policing Index
  2. Highlights of the SMART Policing Index 2021
  3. Various Commissions and their recommendations on Police Reforms 

About the SMART Policing Index

  • The “SMART” in SMART Policing stands for:
    • S- Strict and Sensitive,
    • M- Modern and Mobile,
    • Alert and Accountable,
    • R- Reliable and Responsive,
    • T- Techno-savvy and Trained.
  • SMART Policing idea was envisioned, articulated and introduced by the Indian PM at the Conference of DGPs of State and Central Police Organizations, held at Guwahati, in the year 2014.
  • The strategy combined the development of physical infrastructure, technology adoption, a focus on the critical soft skills and attitudes, as well as a deep commitment to the values of professional excellence and service to the people, considered essential to take the Indian Police to the next level.
  • The SMART Policing Index aims to gather information on citizens’ perceptions about the impact of the SMART policing initiative.
  • 10 sets of questionnaires in the survey include:
    • Six indices of “Competence-Based Indicators” dealing with issues such as police sensitivity, accessibility, responsiveness and technology adoption among others;
    • Three indices of “Value-Based indicators” dealing with integrity of the police; and
    • One index of “Trust”.

Highlights of the SMART Policing Index 2021

  • Around 67% of the citizens believe that the police are doing their job well and strongly support the police, despite police being continuously attacked for insufficient sensitivity, declining public confidence and growing concerns about the quality of policing.
  • The levels of popular satisfaction with the quality of policing were highest in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Kerala, Sikkim, Mizoram and Gujarat. (Southern states and some in the Northeast fared better on most policing indices compared to states in the north.)
  • Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Punjab were ranked at the bottom of the Index.
  • Bihar has been ranked last with respect to responsible policing, public trust in police and integrity & corruption free service.

Various Commissions and their recommendations on Police Reforms 

  1. Gore committee on police training (1971-73) – recommended to enlarge the content of police training from law and order and crime prevention to a greater sensitivity and understanding of human behaviour.
  2. National police commission 1977 – recommended insulating the police from illegitimate political and bureaucratic interference.
  3. Padmanabhaiah Committee 2000 – recommended that constables, and the police force in general, should receive greater training in soft skills (such as communication, counselling and leadership) given they need to deal with the public regularly.
  4. The ARC recommended separation of crime investigation from other police functions i-e maintenance of law and order, establishment of state police boards, welfare and grievances redressal mechanisms for police personnel.
  5. Prakash Singh vs Union of India case directed the government to constitute –
    1. State Security Commission (SSC) to ensure that state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.
    2. Police Establishment Board (PEB) – made up of the DGP and four senior officers – to decide transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters of police, for the rank below DSP.
    3. Police Complaints Authority (PCA) at state level to inquire into public complaints against police officers of above the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
    4. National Security Commission (NSC) at the union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organizations (CPO) with a minimum tenure of two years.

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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