From constables to top cops: In overworked times, policemen turn to quick-fix ‘jugaad’ measures to keep going

Long working hours, gruelling tasks and a severe staff shortage has prompted many officials of the Delhi Police to improvise and come up with alternative ways, or jugaad, to get their work done.

Written by Alok Singh | New Delhi | Updated: November 23, 2015 3:12 am
Officials have come up with alternative ways to get their work done. Praveen Khanna Officials have come up with alternative ways to get their work done.
Praveen Khanna

Long working hours, gruelling tasks and a severe staff shortage has prompted many officials of the Delhi Police to improvise and come up with alternative ways, or jugaad, to get their work done.

Here are some innovative ways in which policemen, from the commissioner to constables, try to manage their burgeoning workload:

* Officials attending the Delhi Police’s mandatory three-day training course often find themselves dispatched to take care of a ‘crisis situation’. Due to a dearth of adequate personnel, policemen undergoing the short-term training course have to be called in to handle a deteriorating law and order situation. Incidentally, the three-day courses are supposed to be compulsory to help the police learn a new skill or fine-tune an existing one.

* The investigating officers (IOs) also have to maintain case diaries, in which they put together details of the crimes being investigated by them. The case diary has to be submitted before the court at the time of filing the charge-sheet. However, some police officers have decided to pass on the tedious task of note-taking to others, albeit at a cost. According to sources, some IOs have “hired” retired officers of sub-inspector rank or above to fill their case diaries. “In some police stations, the IOs give monthly salaries to retired policemen for such work,” they said.

* Police authorities recently ordered sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors to stay back at police stations at night and not take off for home. “They take turns for rest, after working for eight to 12 hours. During this time they go to their homes. But they have to be ready during emergencies,” said a police officer. The officer pointed out that when required, police personnel were rule-bound to work round the clock.

* Due to the shortage of investigating officers, Delhi police constables who are graduates and have 10 years’ experience on the force will soon be made investigation officers of petty cases, in accordance with a notification ordered by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on October 21. The constables will soon be allowed to investigate cases of theft, pick-pocketing, gambling and defacement etc. They can also investigate cases filed under the Excise Act and Motor Vehicles act.

*Sometimes, the shortage of manpower is so acute that even static staff, deployed for specific duties inside the police station, are asked to take up law and order duties. The personnel deployed in the record room and the Malkhana are often asked to carry out other functions at the police station. “When there is no staff available at the police stations, they are also deployed to monitor VIP routes,” said the source.

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