Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vicious circle of policing

Prof.Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes:

  • A state that does not take the lives of those who discharge its sovereign functions seriously is unlikely to be able to send a signal to anyone else in society that it takes their lives seriously.

And moreover

  • ……the state has treated the police in unconscionable ways. On any measure of state support, whether it is as simple a thing as buying reliable bullet-proof jackets, to training and providing for better means of crowd control, the state has failed. The CAG Compendium of Performance Audit Reviews on Modernisation of the Police Force catalogues every shortcoming you can imagine. In states like Bengal and Bihar, live training was not imparted to police forces, UP has slightly over a fifth of the required vehicles it needs for normal patrolling, the incorporation of new technologies was abysmal. States like Rajasthan took less than half of their Central allocation; many spent only a fraction of their allocation. The housing crisis for policemen is dire. A lot of this is the characteristic inefficiency of the state. But it sends a powerful signal about how cheap we think policing is, in both a social and a financial sense.

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