Transparency in policing

File pictuire of a Delhi Police 'Passing Out Parade' in New Delhi. Photo: Anu pushkarna

File pictuire of a Delhi Police 'Passing Out Parade' in New Delhi. Photo: Anu pushkarna  


There is no denying the fact that efforts are made from time to time to cleanse the police force of the many ills that plague it. However, the general feeling is that the force needs to make its functioning more transparent by increasing accountability and bettering its output.

The usual allegations against the police are that they hide facts, juggle with statistics and resort to non-registration of cases to show a decline in the crime graph. If true, it is probably done to escape public criticism and reprimand by higher-ups. However, such an approach will certainly breed corruption, says a police officer.

“There are umpteen reasons preventing the force from functioning in a transparent manner -- from lack of proper infrastructure to scarcity of manpower. If the police start registering each and every complaint, investigations would require a much larger and skilled manpower. But it is a sad reality that recruitments in large numbers are done mostly in the wake of major mishaps or preceding any major event like the Commonwealth Games,” says the police officer.

According to another officer, even when the police register every incident of crime, the big question is do we have enough courts to dispose of the cases within a reasonable time-frame?

“Already the courts are burdened with a large number of pending cases. Even if the cases are disposed of by the courts in time, do we have enough reformatory homes (jails) to house the accused and convicts?” he asks.

The officer indicated that a major factor that affects police functioning is severe lack of resources in all the departments that could be addressed only through bold policy decisions.

Apart from induction of skilled manpower, he said, the force should concentrate on introduction of technology as it will help it bring in greater transparency and accountability in the system.

To bring the policemen on the street under direct scrutiny, video cameras need to be installed in all police vehicles to record their activities while they attend any district call.

The added advantage is that recorded footage of the activities of violators can also be used as evidence to strengthen the case in the court.

At police stations also, video cameras should be installed at the reception and at places where complainants are heard, their statements recorded and cases registered.

Delhi is often equated with world class cities, but when it comes to use of technology for fighting crime it still lags far behind.

Recent incidents of street crime, particularly against women, have underlined the need for critical use of surveillance cameras and other related gadgets that would ensure transparency in the system.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:33:20 AM |

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