Huge manpower deficit blunts city police efficacy

Huge manpower deficit blunts city police efficacy

Norms on cop strength flouted in ever-burgeoning Bengaluru

Huge manpower deficit blunts city police efficacy

The two-day violent stir by garment sector workers has once again raised doubts over the city police’s strength, abilities and their limitations in countering such violence in future. There appears to be a huge void between the reality and demands of the police.

A former city police commissioner who did not wish to be named sarcastically remarked that there was human rights violation in the police department. “Cops are forced to work even without weekly offs and without additional benefits. Nobody is bothered about their plight,” he said. 

The government has never considered parameters of National Police Commission (NPC) while deciding the sanctioned strength. The NPC says total area to be covered, population, vehicular population and type of establishment should be considered before deciding the sanctioned strength. 

“We should have sufficient ‘boots on the ground’. We are still following age-old formula framed 50 years ago. It’s not just population and geographical size, but activity quotient that is most important,” observed retired IGP Gopal Hosur.

There are defence establishments, public and private sector undertakings, an international airport, a large number of foreigners, huge volume of trade and commerce and a number of international activities taking place in the city. This collective activity needs heavy manpower in the police department to monitor it, he said.  

About 30% of the total crimes taking place in the state are in Bengaluru. Considering the city’s population, geography and activity quotient, it needs at least 35,000 men and an additional 15%, he added. 

The city police commissioner generates a proposal, seeking increase of sanctioned strength, which is forwarded to the DGP. It goes to the Home secretary, who forwards it to the Finance department (FD). The FD’s approval is required for the increase of sanctioned strength. The city police had demanded sanctioned strength of 30,000 for the city some years ago. They had also requested to increase the number of Hoysala patrol vehicles to 520, but permission was given for only 220. There are 184 Hoysala vehicles at present and many of them can’t be used during emergencies, the traffic police said. 

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