One policeman is responsible for the safety and security of over 350 people in the Capital, which is bursting at the seams with a population of over two crore.
Already bogged down by a number of duties like traffic management, law and order, court duties and VIP security, the Delhi Police are now finding it difficult to cope with the constantly increasing population.
According to a senior police officer, the biggest challenge they face as a result of the rising population is lack of police verification of migrants.
“People keep coming to Delhi from different parts of the country and live here without police verification. Ideally, the local police should have a record of the people living in a particular area, but in case of migrants it is not possible. The number is so huge that it is almost impossible to keep track of all of them ,” the officer said.
“It is a dangerous situation because if the same people indulge in a criminal activity, it is difficult for us to trace their antecedents. The neighbours are not of much help either in such instances,” the officer added.
“We faced this situation while investigating a number of terror-related cases, where the accused were living in a rented accommodation without any verification and left the place after committing the crime.”
Another challenge that comes with an increasing population is the spike in the number of vehicles.
“With an increase in the population, the number of vehicles also goes up. As a result of this, there are traffic jams and people blame the police for this,” said a Traffic Police personnel.
Petty crimes like thefts and chain snatchings are also on the rise. Even malkhanas in police stations remain stuffed with case property, and vehicles involved in accidents or crimes can be seen piled up outside every police station and post.
The Tihar Jail is also overpopulated. For a sanctioned capacity of 6,250 prisoners, Tihar currently lodges around 12,000 prisoners. Though the authorities are trying to ease the burden by constructing another building in Mandoli, the constant influx of prisoners due to rising crime has only been adding to the burden.
The total population of Delhi: 2.5 crore
The total number of policemen in Delhi: 75,704
Number of policemen deployed for security duty: 8,000 (approximately)
Number of policemen deployed for law and order, traffic management and PCR duties: 68,000 (approximately)
Effective ration of cops to citizens: 1 policemen per 370 people