An annual report titled 'Police: Improvements, Shortfalls and National Trends,' published with the objective of reforming India's Justice sector, has demonstrated that women constitute only 10.5 percent of the entirety of police force across all states and Union Territories.
The report, formulated by the India Justice Report (IJR), was first published in 2019.
"Diversity is an essential feature of policing in a plural society. Policy and law mandates this. Data indicates the levels of commitment to implementation. The share of women in the police force is 10.5 percent. The aspiration is to take it to 33 percent. Nationally it has taken 15 years from 2006 to 2020 for the nation to increase the share of women personnel in police from 3.3percent to 10.5 percent," the report reads.
This data comes despite the police growing a monumental 32 percent in a span of ten years, between 2010-2020.
No Help Desks for Women
Another important statistic in the document showed that 41 percent of police stations in the country did not have help desks for women as on January 2021.
The numbers are such despite Home Ministry advisory dated January 2020. The Women Help Desk is proposed to be the first and single point of contact for any woman walking into a police station.
Arunachal Pradesh, in particular, had no help desks for women across the state, the report showed. Meanwhile, every police station in Tripura had such a feature.
Only 1 in 3 Police Stations Have CCTV Cameras
Despite a Supreme Court ruling mandating CCTV cameras in all police stations, the report found that one in every three police stations were not equipped with a camera.
It stated, "In its 2021 report, the Data on Police Organisation shows that one in three of the 17,233 police stations do not have a single CCTV camera."
Further, only Odisha, Telangana and Puducherry have a CCTV camera installed in all their police stations.
"Four states/UTs (Rajasthan, Manipur, Ladakh, Lakshadweep) have reported less than 1 percent police stations with CCTV cameras," the report read.
Further, only one of the 894 police stations in Rajasthan – the seventh largest state by population – has CCTV cameras installed in its premises.
SC, ST, OBC Recruitment Quota Unfulfilled
The report, on caste representation, noted that all states and UTs, except Karnataka, fall short on their targets of recruiting from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and Other Backward Class communities.
“Governments at the Union, state, and Union territory (UT) levels have accepted diversity in their police forces, both by policy and mandate. Among the 24 states and UTs that have reservations for SCs, STs, and OBCs, only Karnataka has met its statutory reserved quotas in 2020. Among the 17 states and UTs that have mandated 33 percent of their police force to comprise women, none has achieved their target,” chief editor of the IJR, Maja Daruwala, stated in the report.
The report also said the share of SCs has marginally increased from 12.6 percent in 2010, to 15.2 percent in 2020 and STs has gone up from to 11.7 percent from 10.6 percent in the same time period.
Meanwhile, the other backward classes have registered a stronger representation from 20.8 percent in 2010, to 28.8 percent in 2020.
5.62 Lakh Police Posts Lie Vacant
On vacancies, the report stated, "Between 2010 and 2020, total police numbers have increased by 32 percent growing from 15.6 lakhs to 20.7 lakhs. However, vacancies in constabulary and officer ranks have remained stagnant. In 2020, overall vacancies are at 21.4 percent; with officer vacancies, at 32.2 percent and constabulary, at 20 percent."
In 2020, which was the first COVID-affected year, the overall vacancies rose from 20.3 percent to 21.4 percent.
"Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Assam are functioning with more than 1/4th of their constable and officer posts vacant. Overall vacancies are highest in Bihar (41.8 percent) and lowest in Uttarakhand (6.8 percent)," it added.
Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala are the only three states that were able to reduce their vacancies at the constabulary and officer levels, the report said, adding that on the other hand, in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Assam, more than a fourth of constable and officer posts lie vacant.