Police Stations in India Keep Pace with the TimeBy
Anyone who has reported a theft or filed an FIR in a police station in India would know how much of an ordeal it can be. Police stations in India are reminiscent of an era that everyone in India would like to forget in a hurry.
Police station in India – set to change
A time when files moved at a lethargic pace from one government department to another, when the only way to get your work done was to bribe everyone in the office, from top to bottom, when files would get mysteriously lost..Well, you know what we are talking about.
All of that is set to change, with new initiatives from India’s Home Ministry, reporting a crime in India is set to get easier. The Home Ministry has decided to set up a model police station in each of India’s 29 states. The stations will have features such as automated booths for the public where they can report crimes, computers, free Wi-Fi access and even public toilets.
These modern units will be called as SMART police stations. The Home Ministry is determined to make them “citizen-friendly and clean.” They will have a waiting area with ventilation and energy efficient solar lighting and clean drinking water.
Home Ministry on police stations in India
India’s Home Ministry put out a 34-page statement explaining what is wrong with the police stations of today and about the government’s expectations from the police stations of the future: “As police station buildings are public places, where people go for various reasons, expecting the police to help them, they find the police station buildings’ ambience wise pathetic, space wise inadequate and cleanliness wise extremely poor.”
The Home Ministry added, “They (should) function as public places like a modern mini hospital (so) people feel at ease and comfortable in terms of space, cleanliness, functionality and privacy.”
Changes in police stations in India
In fact, police stations in India have been changing for a while keeping up with the modern times.
- Receptionist – Many modern police stations have a dedicated receptionist to guide visitors to the right police officer to talk about a case.
- Computerized kiosk – Now a days, complaints are registered at a computerized kiosk instead of files and registers. This process helps in saving time and also increases efficiency in work and data storage.
- CCTVs – CCTVs are installed in many police stations to ensure that there are no cases of bribery or any occurrence of underhand deals between the police officers and members of the public. The presence of CCTVs is expected to make police officers watch their behavior, treat the public better and not take advantage of the power that their position grants them.
This is important because police officers in many parts of the country have a reputation of being abusive. The Home Ministry talked about the importance of CCTVs to prevent abuse in its statement: “All the lockups should be monitored through CCTV cameras which should be operational 24X7 as is being done in police stations in some south Indian states.”
- Online portals – Another important initiative is the setting up of online portals for people to provide information to police from the comfort, safety and privacy of their homes. Many police stations have dedicated victim support cells to help victims of sexual violence.
All-women police stations in India
India has the record for the highest number of all-women police stations in the world. Why is this important? Well, sexual crimes are becoming more common in India and they often go unreported as women are too shy about talking about them to male police officers. They feel more confident about reporting cases such as sexual harassment at the workplace, domestic abuse, child abuse or marital rape to female officers, who are more understanding and empathetic.
Yoga classes in police stations in India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a big believer in the power of Yoga and because of his initiative Yoga classes are today held in police stations across the country to help the police officers deal with the pressure and stress they are under.
The Prime Minister has also directed the setting up of a gym and recreation rooms in all police stations, to help officers wind down after a hard day at work. These initiatives are expected to do wonders for the health and morale of police officers across the country.
What many of us fail to understand is that the police in India have the toughest jobs in the country and they are very much underpaid relative to other professionals. They are also under a lot of pressure and stress, and often, they put their life at risk to maintain peace in the society. They are our first line of defence against terrorists and extremists.