is not only ludicrous for the public to pay for these private
services, but it is a most shameful practice, which denigrates
human dignity. As a result these functionaries have very
low self-esteem and they never mature to become efficient
nature of policing has undergone tremendous changes in the
past 50 years. Earlier it was primarily used as a colonial
instrument to keep the subjects under control. The recruitment
at the lower levels also used to reflect this philosophy
- it was thought that constables do not have to think on
their own or function independently and have to just follow
the orders of the bosses blindly! Policing in the modern
milieu requires a degree of professionalism and competency.
Fortunately the quality of personnel being recruited at
various levels in the police has improved significantly
and they also receive better training. Even then most of
the policemen are reduced to working as unthinking machines,
which is largely a result of the over centralized style
of functioning. They are neither encouraged to think on
their own nor allowed to function independently.
many western countries it is customary for two police officers
to work together as a team when they go on a patrol. This
encourages teamwork and enables them to build mutual confidence.
Such small teams are directly responsible to the head of
the local police. It is a practice well worth emulating.
In addition, many day-to-day police functions like traffic
control and patrolling should be decentralized and kept
under the control of local governments. Effective implementation
of Citizen's charters will go a long way in improving the
accountability of the police at the local level and will
help them establish good relationship with the community
in which they are serving.
to the centralized functioning of the police, failure of
judiciary and political interference, people have lost all
faith in the crime investigation process. The solution lies
in separating the crime investigation process from regular
policing and making it completely independent of political
control. In fact the practice in many western democracies
is that crime investigation is a quasi-judicial process
and is normally under the control of judiciary or independent
prosecutors. At the local level each police station should
be attached to a local court. In the long run, a culture
of mutual cooperation between the judiciary and police will
develop and it will go a long way in restoring people's
trust in the crime investigation and judicial process.
many mature democracies, it is customary for even a stranger
to look to a cop for any help. A cop on the beat is looked
upon as a friend. We in India are far from that stage and
in fact shy away from seeking the help of police in general.
We must realize that the police often work in extremely
difficult and hostile situations. They will work wonders
if we create the institutional mechanisms to enable them
to function in an accountable, transparent and humane manner.
There is no society that prospered without rule of law.
A modern police force is an essential ingredient for a civic
society. It is in our hands to build such a citizen friendly
institution. The government's recent initiatives are certainly
in the right direction.