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POLICE STRUCTURE NEEDS THE MANAGEMETN TOUCH

A major handicap in police administration is the absence of a tool to assess performance. The problem is, in fact, peculiar to the fields of crime control and security operations. The object of the organisation is preventing crimes and success can be measured only in relation to the extent the efforts pay. As the factors of such an effort are unknown after the crimes are prevented, the effectiveness of policing can never be measured. The results that are tangible, namely the successful protection of a sensitive target or the creation of a crime-free atmosphere during a particular period, can be the outcome for two different reasons; either no crime was attempted, in which case even the least effective police could have produced the same results or an all-out major attempt to commit crime has been prevented, which could not have been achieved by anything less than first class policing.

The measurement of the quality of crime investigation and maintenance of order are also equally complex for different reasons. Policing in these fields largely depends upon intangible factors such as luck, surroundings and the willing cooperation of the public. In order to tackle these problems in gauging policing qualities, the organisation compares developments in the same period in the preceding years. But this is an unscientific method and gives unsatisfactory results for various reasons. The crime rate or other policing problems do not remain static over a period of time. These depend

2 upon population, complexity of society, economic conditions, moral values, quality of leadership, political conditions, prices and climate, none of which follow any formula.

SUBJECTIVE FANCIES

The police needs, as a control device, a tool to measure policing quality. Until such a device is invented, the administrators have to rely upon their subjective fancies to measure and control policing and assess the work of their subordinates. Until a scientific device is formulated, the heartburns and frustrations caused by erratic measurement of work and policing qualities, wherein a few mealy-mouthed smart guys always corner accolades at the cost of efficient silent workers, will continue to prevail. A sufficiently active tool to measure policing qualities is therefore the first priority in the task of creating a new shape for the Indian police. The success achieved in this field will decide the degree to which the Indian police can shed its shoddy image.

The police organisation is being run without requisite management principles. The major lapse lies in the failure to define organisation objectives and formulate a specific set of actions thereon. For example extraneous objectives such as creating employment opportunities often inspire the creation of additional posts irrespective of the organisational needs, which results in the corrosion of job contents and thereby erode the morale of the force. Work, often, is not allocated on the basis of scientific assessment of character and aptitude.

3 Sophisticated equipment purchased under modernisation schemes without

creating the infrastructure for their operation or analysing their relevance and their relative merits to the organisation, have resulted in their being dumped a few days after commissioning while even some of the basic needs are yet to be met.

MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES

The police organisation of India would do well to formulate actions and operations in line with the latest management principles and practices followed

elsewhere. It may either constitute an efficient cell of management experts to advice or hire a management consultation firm for guidance. At any rate, the police organisation of the third millennium should be a far smaller unit than now, manned by highly committed and capable officers who are paid and looked after well by the Government.

The last three decades have seen a tremendous expansion in the Indian police. For the lack of an organisational plan and the foresight to assess future demands, haphazard growth has resulted. Organisational sensibilities such as workload, unit of control, accountability functional conveniences, span of control and information flow are never given the attention they need building an organisation. As a result, while a few posts in the police are overburdened with work, there are many which have no work or accountability. The lopsided growth of the organisation has spawned acute likes and dislikes for various positions. Naturally, probity and objectivity are sacrificed in favour of

4 survival and protection of career interests. Corruption is rampant. This may not be the sole reason for the falling standards of policing. Yet, it is a major cause.

Rationalisation of the police structure to bring about a balance among the various posts in the same rank would certainly help to ameliorate the situation. It would also help to eliminate the wastage of Government funds on unnecessary posts. The creation of such posts, in order to accommodate unwanted elements, cannot be tolerated in a serious department like the police. A systematic growth plan for balanced expansion is essential if the department is to meet the tasks ahead.

INSTINCT

For the administrators, the knowledge of modern management principles makes policing and related operations cheaper, effective and less demanding in terms of time, place, manpower, equipment and other resources. The instinct to study and plan

operations in terms of layout charts, time flow, span of control, methods of programming of operations, motivational aspects, human relationships, information flow, control methods, work analysis and contingencies for emergencies must be inherent in police culture whether it pertains to raids, maintenance of order, crime control, investigation, intelligence collection, security exercises or simply administration.

5 Only the meticulous exercise of management techniques will make police administration meaningful, purposeful and useful in giving the personnel direction and content.

The present policing system in India has too much of paper work with hundreds of registers maintained in each station or office with tens of forms filled up at each stage. A detailed study of the need for paper work should be taken up to eliminate its need so that time is saved. Computerisation is also a possibility not far away.

Professional knowledge is vital in the field of policing too. What is at issue is not only the knowledge of law and procedures but a deeper insight into their applications, necessary in diverse circumstances. A mind, alert to its surroundings with an

inexhaustible curiosity to know what is afoot and triggers each development and its likely impact on policing in general and the worker at hand in particular, is essential for efficient policing. This entails special efforts to update professional and general

knowledge at all levels. There are training programmes, including inservice training, but they lack in substance and quality. They fail to impart the right knowledge to the trainees and induce attitudinal changes in them. The lack of commitment to work, either in actual performance or in supervision, is the primary cause of this failing . A healthy police setup, from the constabulary to the ranks of the Director-General must possess sound professional and general knowledge at all levels.

6 The modernisation of the police force with the latest communication, transport, weapons and office equipment system and the simultaneous creation of the necessary infrastructure for their operation in advance alone will make the police force rise to the challenge of elite criminals who are armed with sophisticated equipment. India of the third millennium will require its police force to be equipped with helicopters as an aide in emergencies. A genuine and effective effort to achieve modernisation would be indispensable in the future. A face-lift to police stations and offices with the latest office equipment and general facilities will go a long way in boosting the morale of the policemen.

INTELLECTUAL ANALYSIS

The passion for modernisation is not met with an intellectual analysis of the needs for modernisation. The result is spasmodic efforts without the logistic support to sustain modernistion. This has resulted in enormous wasteful expenditure towards the acquisition of gadgets. Indian is yet to develop a system to assess the needs of modernisation in the police and to devise techniques to speed up the process. India is yet to make full use of advanced computer facilities for policing, computerisation of

fingerprints is yet to reach a satisfactory phase. The use of helicopters for policing remains a dream. Distant hearing and night-watch devices are also unknown.

The response time of the Indian police to a crisis call is unduly long when compared to international standards. Efforts to shorten it, in Delhi and few other places

7 where terrorist strikes made shocking impacts did bring about some improvements. These are only exceptions. Otherwise, no serious though is given to the need for quick response. The modernisation programmes which should pave the path for improving the response time, seldom attend to this salient need.

The Bangalore city police spent liberally in 1991 on modern communication gadgets; but this did not improve its speed of response. Instances of such wasteful expenditure on modernisation are available in other parts of the country also.

Though efforts have been made to redeem the image of the Indian police nothing substantial has been achieved thanks to amateurish handling of the affair. The managers have their image development tools limited to issuing occasional press statements when actually image development has become a highly advanced. Field of specialisation.

CONSTABULARY.

The constabulary which forms the backbone and cutting-edge of Indian policing and wields real authority over the populace, is a lowly-paid, modestly educated, non-elite mass of workes in uniform. The authority they wield makes them fearsome while their low status in society stands in the way of their getting empathy and respect. The

fearsome authority sans empathy, respect and legitimacy decidedly proves a deadly substructure for an organisation and people certainly resent an organisation with this unhealthy attribute. This foible in the extant setup makes policing more complex.

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The Indian police of the 21st century will require sub-inspectors with their present scale of education and status in society as the primary unit of policing at the cutting-edge level. Constables up to the level of Assistant Sub-Inspectors of Police should be limited to the duties of assistants without police powers and responsibilities. This will require a huge army of subinspectors while the contabulary stands to be severely spruced in strength.

With the removal of the constabulary from the hierarchy, the sub-inspectors will occupy the lowest rank in the setup. Each police station works under a police inspector assisted by a host of sub-inspectors, performing all subordinate functions including beat patrolling and investigation of minor cases.

Diligent efforts at the highest level in the organisation to create a force characterised by integrity, commitment and intelligence may be the foremost need of a police organisation of the future. The prevalence of police administration over general administration in the survival of a nation as a democratic and disciplined country may necessitate changes in the recruitment and service condition rules to attract the best talent.

WORK ASSESSMENT

The system of assessment of work for promotion has fallen into utter misuse. Subjective assessments of corrupt influences must be replaced with periodical promotions

9 in a time scale of say, 25 years. So every police constable retires at least as an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police, a Sub-Inspector as a Deputy Superintendent of Police and an Indian Police Service Officer as an Inspector General of Police. The officers of the Indian Police Service may be posted, on first appointment, as Superintendents to make the career more attractive, though not to districts directly. And dual recruitments as in vogue now, has to be stopped to make selection meaningful.

Officers, in exceptional cases, may have avenues for special promotions in addition to the two provided in a time scale of say 25 years, on the basis of a written examination and on an overall assessment of their career of 25 years by high-power committees formed for the purpose. The promotion of constabulary in exceptional cases to the ranks of PSIs and above should be screened by the All –India Police Authority and the promotion of an IPS officer as the Director General of Police and above should be approved by a Central Cabinet Committee headed by the Prime Minister