A comparative study of police infrastructure in West Bengal with those of other states has brought to light the pitiable condition of the state police and the need for its urgent reforms and modernisation.
To begin with,one policeman in Bengal caters to 1,450 people while the national average of police-population ratio stands at 1: 745. Not only that,Bengals position is worse even compared to Uttar Pradesh,notorious for poor law and order where there is one police personnel for every 1,338 people.
Even on the front of money spent on police force per resident,the state lacks behind. While states like Tamil Nadu,Kerala Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh spends over Rs 200 on police for every resident of the state,West Bengal spends only Rs 128.
With 383 police stations,Bengal lacks behind other states on this count too.
The report titled Change Is The Only Constraint has concluded that the poor police infrastructure in the state has resulted in a spurt in organised crimes like robbery,dacoity and abduction over the last five years.
Police officers said the report was prepared in order to attract the attention of the government so that police infrastructure could be improved.
Sources said that improvement of police infrastructure has been given adequate importance by the incumbent government and recruitment drive has also gathered momentum. Proposals for formation of new police commissionerates,which were gathering dust during the Left regime,have finally seen the light of the day and chowkidari system,which was proposed a couple of years ago,has been brought back to improve the quality of policing,said a senior officer. Two more police commissionerates have been planned to be set up in Siliguri and Haldia by the new government,they added.
According to the report,the police strength in West Bengal has increased by only 10,000 in the past one decade which is very insignificant in comparison with the population growth and increasing incidents of crime and economic offences.