Police are a backbone of a functioning democratic system, they are trained to uphold the law. However in recent situations, we have seen the Indian police go against laws and also show extreme levels of violence on people. The flaws in the system need reforms and can be categorized into 3 main categories.
- Police sensitisation about their role in society.
Police need changes in their attitude especially related to gender and power relations. There has to be decency in behavior and promptness in all work. Police should be strictly advised to refrain from abusive behaviour.
- Increasing accountability.
Public confidence in police decreases when the public perceives that police abuses are not investigated effectively. Increasing accountability improves the legitimacy of police and increases the trust the public has. The Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland, the Danish Independent Police Complaints Authority are some examples of mechanisms for accountability of the police for acts of abuse of power.
- De-politicisation of the police.
Linked to accountability, there is a need to remove political interference in the police forces. The police need to stay away from agenda driven politics in order to maintain law and order. This is a must for the effective functioning of the country’s criminal justice system.
In order to implement changes, there has to be immense rectification in structural issues. Representation of women needs to increase drastically. Women are grossly underrepresented in our police force at less than 7 percent of our total police strength, which is too less given the fact gender crimes are increasing day by day. Reforms in the criminal justice system and separation of law and order from investigation and prosecution are the other areas that need the attention of the authorities.
This article has been written by Riya Rajayyan for The Paradigm
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