Hyderabad: About 28 per cent of civil police personnel across the country with an experience of up to 10 years have reported pressure from politicians as the biggest hindrance during crime investigation.
This number progressively decreases to 22 per cent for those with more than 30 years of service, indicating that as the number of service years increases, the likelihood of considering or citing political pressure as a major investigation hurdle decreases.
The revelation is mentioned in the Status of Policing in India Report-2019 on police adequacy and working conditions prepared by the Common Cause and Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) to offer policy-oriented insights into the conditions in which the Indian police works.
According to the report, over one-third of the civil police personnel reported that they have faced political pressure ‘many times’ during an investigation in the last two-three years.
A similar proportion also reported having faced the issue of witnesses unwilling to cooperate during a crime investigation ‘many times’ in the last two-three years of their work experience.
A slightly lesser proportion of about 28 per cent reported having faced departmental pressure ‘many times’, while about one-fourth reported having encountered lack of time for investigation frequently in the last two-three years.
Only 18 per cent reported having faced the issue of victims unwilling to cooperate ‘many times’, while about 16 per cent spoke of facing the issue of weak laws that favour the accused and that of prosecution duties impeding crime investigation frequently.
The proportion of constabulary in civil police personnel (28 per cent) who reported that they have ‘many times’ faced departmental pressure is just marginally higher than senior State police officers (26 per cent) who reported the same issue.
About 16 per cent of the civil constabulary force reported that they ‘never’ faced departmental pressure, as against one-fifth of State senior police officers.
Like departmental pressure, the proportion of civil constabulary (35 per cent) who reported having ‘many times’ faced political pressure is again marginally higher than the proportion of senior State police (30 per cent).
About 14 per cent of the constabulary reported that they have ‘never’ faced political pressure, as against 34 per cent of senior State police officers. About 38 per cent of the civil police reported that they always face political pressure in cases involving influential persons. Roughly one-third also reported ‘always’ facing pressure from their seniors in the police force.
This proportion drops to one-fifth of the police ‘always’ facing pressure from media, while about 14 per cent reported that they ‘always’ faced pressure from human rights organisations, NGOs, judiciary and the common public in cases involving influential people.
When the police personnel fail to comply with such pressure, the most common consequence is posting or transfer to a different area with more than three-fifths of the civil police reporting the same.
About 12 per cent reported the most common consequence to be suspension or dismissal from service, while five per cent also reported a threat to their personal safety or physical assault.
About five per cent narrated that the most common consequence is harsh public criticism. The consequences of not complying with pressure are similar across different ranks.
Three out of five police personnel reported transfer as the most common consequence of not complying with pressures, the report said.