Police-public ratio stands at 152.80 per lakh person

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In a written reply to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Chandrani Murmu, the ministry of home affairs stated that as per data from the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), the ratio was registered 196.23 as per sanctioned strength as on 1st January 2022

The Centre on Tuesday informed the Parliament that the current police-public ratio in the country stood at 152.80 per lakh persons.

In a written reply to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Chandrani Murmu, the ministry of home affairs stated that as per data from the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), the ratio was registered 196.23 as per sanctioned strength as on 1st January 2022.

The state with the highest number of police personnel was Nagaland, according to the ministry, with around 1189.33 police personnel per lakh of the population, as against the sanctioned 1212.39 personnel.

According to the data, Bihar recorded the lowest police-public ratio, with only 75.16 police personnel per lakh of the population. The ministry said that the other two states with low police-public ratios were West Bengal (97.66) and Rajasthan (120.39).

Data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) showed that in 2013, India’s police-public ratio was 138 police personnel per lakh of the population.

Union minister Nityanand Rai told the parliament that the recruitment of police personnel is a state subject, however, the Centre has issued advisories to the state in a timely manner, so as to bring reforms in the police administration.

“Recruitment is a continuous process. So far, as the shortage of police personnel is concerned, the vacancies in the service are caused due to factors such as retirement, resignation, death, removal from service etc,” said Rai.

In Uttar Pradesh, the sanctioned strength of police per lakh population is 181.75 and the actual strength is 133.86, Gujarat 174.39 (sanctioned) and 127.82 (actual), Madhya Pradesh 147.23 (sanctioned) and 121.76 (actual), Maharashtra 186.36 (sanctioned) and 136.45 (actual), Odisha 147.76 (sanctioned) and 122.59 (actual), Rajasthan 139.81 (sanctioned) and 120.39 (actual), Tamil Nadu 171.95 (sanctioned) and 154.25 (actual), as per the BPR&D data.

According to a 2018 survey of 15,562 respondents across 22 states on perceptions about policing, the Lokniti team at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) found that less than 25% of Indians trust the police highly (as compared to 54% for the army).

The sanctioned strength of the police across states was around 2.8 million in 2017 but only 1.9 million police officers were employed (a 30% vacancy rate).