Modernization of Police Force

Police force and policing in any country should be such that it is competent enough as also equipped adequately enough with the basic requirements in order to ensure that law was enforced , crime was prevented and law breakers were apprehended and subjected to justice . The whole gamut involves proper training, not once or on select occasions but on regular basis, newer and modern techniques and changes should be inducted in the same as also provided with all the basic minimum requirements to make the police personnel effective, strong, mobile and adaptable. The police stations must be ideally located so that finding them, one needed no help again from some other sources, they should be manned by smart alert and vigilant personnel, mobility should be the hallmark of the functions of the police persons for which a motor- bike in working condition, a four wheel vehicle or a jeep in operational mode etc are a necessity. Are all these things and requirements meticulously and uniformly being addressed? Are norms of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) being followed in letter and spirit?
Before we dwell upon this important aspect, let us not strike any pessimist note as we find a lot of changes taking place though gradually in the police force in more than one ways . We have model police stations equipped with the needed basics , then there is the second tier of police stations where working conditions and the building housing the station are of near satisfactory levels and lastly, there are most of the stations especially in border areas and in rural and semi-urban areas where the position is bad and lot more is required to be done. It is well known that Jammu and Kashmir State has been reeling under Pakistan sponsored terrorism for over three decades which calls for focussed attention on modernization of our police force which includes taking stock of the mobility aspect. Is it not surprising , if not a travesty that majority of the police stations do not have one or the other types of vehicles to enable the personnel respond very quickly to distress calls or reach spots of trouble as early as possible?
There are two sides to the problem . While as per the BPR&D norms , every police station must mandatorily have Light Motor Vehicles , motor cycles etc , the other aspect of how to manage them under overall strained financial position of the State and the resultant inability of the Jammu and Kashmir Police Headquarters to meet these norms, render such basic requirement infructuous . When the implementation of norms is the issue under consideration, associated framework must be built for which the State Government braving the crisis of the vast mismatch between the limited sources of revenue and more and more areas of spending , must find out how funds could be arranged to keep the police force always ready, chiefly in matters of mobility to meet any eventuality and face hostile and adverse situations. There must be a uniform policy in this regard , of course, with exception in situations where need based amends could be made.
In this connection, we are given to understand that a good number of vehicles of the made and mark of ‘Tata Sumos’ were purchased over the last few years to keep the same at the disposal of some police stations where such vehicles were not added into the existing ones but the lone vehicle already with each of these police stations were non operative hence these were substitutes only while the need was that of providing additional vehicles. A holistic view needed to be taken in respect of mobility of our police force.
Needless to add, the second aspect of mobility is too important to be ignored and that is the levels of the physical fitness of most of our police personnel. We are pained to find that a few of them are seen overweight with protracted bellies with otherwise adorning belts seen slipped down their waists thus limiting their prospects of physical mobility in short run but hot chases of the criminals where vehicles cannot do that what fast running could do. There is, therefore, a strong need to spread awareness about physical fitness for which the force must regularly undergo routine drills, exercises etc . For mobility and effectiveness, it is the physical fitness which matters more than anything else. After all, the police force have critical responsibilities to shoulder and with precision , viz; enforcing laws, preventing crimes, responding to emergencies and providing helping and support service.