[op-ed snap] Back to the classroom

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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Internal Security | Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Police reforms is an all time important topic for UPSC.

News

Context

  1. In the article, writer is talking about Evidence-based policing and its need in Indian Context
  2. And why India needs these policing methods

What is Evidence Based Policing?

  1. Evidence-Based Policing (EBP) is an approach to policy making and tactical decision-making for police departments
  2. It is an extension of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based policy
  3. Advocates of EBP emphasize the value of statistical analysis, empirical research and ideally randomized controlled trials
  4. EBP does not dismiss more traditional drivers of police decision-making, but seeks to raise awareness and increase the application of scientific testing, targeting and tracking of police resources

Indian Situation

  1. People in India are dissatisfied with the quality of service they are getting from the Police System
  2. There is an undeniable need for reform
  3. But the prospects for this happening are bleak because of
    (1) a multitude of factors
    (2) including the size of police forces
    (3) lack of political and community support

Are Senior Police Officers trying enough for the solution?

  1. A few dynamic IPS officers in the larger cities are working against the problem
  2. But here is an overall reluctance to experiment with measures that could transform the police

Areas in which EBP can Deliver

  1. There are two areas in which EBP could deliver
    (1) prediction
    (2) prevention
  2. Prediction: There are certain geographic areas in each police jurisdiction which report more incidents than others
  3. EBP goes beyond statistics and pinpoints the time and opportunities presented to a potential offender
  4. For example, by prediction, fixing a street light that is not burning for several days is an action that could contain crime
  5. Prevention: By monitoring the patterns of behaviour of a class of individuals(convicted in past) is a logical way to predict whether they will again lapse into crime
  6. Despite the unfairness in targeting those who had indulged in anti-social behaviour in the past and keeping a tab on their day-to-day activities
  7. There is an expected benefit of being able to predict future criminal behaviour

[op-ed snap] Clamping down on crime

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Note4Students

Mains Paper 2: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States

Police reforms are one of the most debated and discussed reforms. Police is a State subject and is often criticised. This op-ed offers you some good points:

  1. Make note of the global scenario regarding police reforms
  2. Also note the points of difference in India when compared with other countries
  3. For your Mains answer, the last sub heading, ‘Some hope in India’, will offer you good points

Organizing the police:

  1. Metropolitan Police in London was set up in London in1829
  2. A similar organization was set up in New York and other large cities in the U.S.
  3. This paved the way for organising the police in many western democracies and for our own police forces set up by the British in the early 1900s

Law enforcement:

  1. The focus of law enforcement was initially on disciplining unruly elements disturbing public peace rather than on hunting for criminals depriving others of their life and property
  2. Crime was petty in those days, not requiring any sophisticated methods of investigation and detection
  3. Now, it is not only widespread and violent but also sophisticated with the abundant use of technology
  4. There is a rising sense of fear in community, especially among elders, women and children
  5. This must be the yardstick to evaluate police performance

Poor ratio:

  1. There is phenomenal expansion of the geographic area to be policed
  2. There is mind-boggling increase in the number of lives to be guarded
  3. Therefore Indian police, more than in many western democracies, have been stretched and outnumbered
  4. There are only about 140 policemen per 100,000 people, a very poor ratio when compared to other modern democracies

Trust deficit:

  1. The strongest criticism against the police is of their preoccupation with the problems of the political party in power and those of the rich and famous
  2. This resonates with the dictum that all are equal (in a constitutional democracy), but some are more equal than the others
  3. There is phenomenal rise in private security agencies accounts for the growing lack of trust in the state police

Lessons from abroad:

  1. In a recent happening, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) instituted a COMPSTAT
  2. COMPSTAT is a COMPuter STATistics programme that analyses crime with the help of computers, identifies crime hotspots and takes preventive action, such as intensified patrolling
  3. Police commanders in New York were made to report to the commissioner each week explaining how they were tackling crime in their jurisdictions
  4. This mechanism not only brings greater attention to crime in the field but also enhances police accountability at the grass-root level
  5. The NYPD has recently gone beyond COMPSTAT by hiring a reputed private agency to survey public opinion on police performance
  6. Focussed questions over mobile phones and the responses obtained look at how to fill visible gaps in policing
  7. The effectiveness of this unique tool will depend on how forthcoming and honest the respondents are

Comparing police action with the case of India:

  1. The Met (London) has launched a major campaign against street crime that involves frisking and seizure of knives
  2. The use of large manpower has been the hallmark of this operation
  3. Physical checks of youth in the streets has added an element of deterrence
  4. This is analogous to the ‘stop and frisk’ practice of the NYPD, whose focus on the non-white population has often drawn flak, especially from African-Americans
  5. Given the high corruption among the police in India, procedures such as ‘stop and frisk’ carry the risk of greater public harassment and dishonesty at the cutting-edge levels

Some hope in India:

  1. There are at least two features which offer a glimmer of hope for community safety in India
  2. The first is the availability of a corps of leadership in the form of technically savvy young Indian Police Service officers who have a stake in working closely with the community to carry out experiments in the field to upgrade safety at minimum cost to the government
  3. The second is the spread of Internet use at all levels of the police
  4. An offshoot is the use of social media in day-to-day policing
  5. Information on crime incidents and criminals is as a matter of course conveyed to the public in many urban centres with encouraging results
  6. Citizens are also encouraged to report crime through email or over social media
  7. The participation of the print and visual media in this dialogue gives further fillip to the exercise of sensitising the police to the community demand for safety through police processes

SC raps States on massive police vacancies

  1. Context: SC was hearing the 2013 petition which claimed that law and order situation in the country was deteriorating due to a large number of vacancies in police services at all levels across States
  2. Supreme Court: Sought the personal appearance of home secretaries or authorised joint secretaries of six States together with a definite roadmap to fill up the long-pending vacancies in the States’ police forces.
  3. The court found that Uttar Pradesh has 1.51 lakh vacancies, West Bengal with 37,325, Karnataka has 24,899, Jharkhand 26,303, Bihar 34,500 and Tamil Nadu has 19,803 posts vacant

Note4students:

The issue of police vacancies. Can be quoted in police reform related questions.



:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.







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