UP, Bihar police fare worst on Smart Policing Index

Citizens of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the most disgruntled with their state police force scoring them 5.74 and 5.81 on the Indian Police Foundation’s Smart Policing Index 2021

Representative image
Representative image

Ashlin Mathew

The citizens of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the most disgruntled with their state police force scoring them 5.74 and 5.81 on the Indian Police Foundation’s Smart Policing Index 2021. Chhattisgarh followed these two states with a score of 5.93 on the Index. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were the last on the list on the matters of perception of police sensitivity and perception of fair, unbiased and lawful policing too.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana topped the Index with a SMART core of 8.11 and 8.10 respectively. This was followed by Assam (7.89), Kerala (7.53), Sikkim (7.18), Mizoram (7.14), Gujarat (7.04), Odisha (6.94), Himachal Pradesh (6.91) and Puducherry (6.91). Delhi is twelfth of the list with the score of 6.85, followed by Tamil Nadu (6.73), Uttarakhand (6.69), West Bengal (6.66), Meghalaya (6.60), Haryana (6.39), Tripura (6.33), Jammu and Kashmir (6.26), Maharashtra (6.25), Rajasthan (6.17), Madhya Pradesh (6.15), Nagaland (6.11), Punjab (6.07) and Jharkhand (6.07)

This Index was released by the Indian Police Foundation on Thursday based on survey conducted based on the philosophy underlying the Prime Minister’s SMART policing idea. In 2014, Narendra Modi had urged cops to be strict and sensitive, modern and mobile, alert and accountable, reliable and responsive, and finally trained and techno-savvy.

For the survey, the survey looked at police sensitivity, fair, unbiased and lawful policing, police accountability, integrity, strict and good behavior, accessibility, responsiveness, helpful and friendly policing, integrity and corruption-free services.

Uttar Pradesh Police is the least friendly, followed by Punjab and Bihar and Delhi is ninth on this list. Bihar, Chhattishgarh and Uttar Pradesh police is again the last on the score of fair, unbiased and lawful policing. The BJP state scored the least on the question of police accountability too.

On questions of the perception of police sensitivity, Telangana (8.27) and Andhra Pradesh (8.22) topped the list, followed by Assam (8.14) and Kerala (7.51). Bihar (5.75) and Uttar Pradesh (5.79) fared the worst. Jammu and Kashmir police fared the worst on strictness and good behavior with 5.71, with Bihar (5.74) and Punjab (5.76) police following closely.

Chhattisgarh (5.86) police is the least accessible, followed by Bihar (5.95), while Telangana (8.29) and Andhra Pradesh (8.24) police are the most accessible. The results are similar in case of police responsiveness. Delhi falls ninth on both lists.

PF divided the data into two groups of people - those who had prior interactions with police and those who had no interaction with police. It was found that people with no interactions with police were more likely to have negative perceptions about police than those who had prior interactions, indicating that perceptions may also be formed basing on secondary sources and hearsay.

“This finding reinforces the theory that police officers and organisations that build relationships with the public are more likely to receive confidence and trust of the people and it calls for improved relations between police and public both at the personal and institutional
levels,” said N Ramachandran, President and CEO of IPF.

A lot of effort is being made to improve hard skills, underscored Ramachandran, and there is a need to improve soft skills such as fair policing, honesty, commitment to rule of law and attitude. “The police need to act only according to law, only then will the citizens trust them. The police need to focus more on this. This survey was done to nudge the police to improve the police force,” pointed out Ramachandran.

The survey got 1,61,192 valid responses and it is significant to note that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana together accounted for 56.48% of the total number of responses. The survey did not consider states which returned lower than 300 responses, so the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and union territories of Ladakh, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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