India needs more than just money to truly reform its police
The instances of police brutality across the globe have stirred grief and anger.
And yet, the death of George Floyd happened in a context that was entirely different from that of the alleged custodial deaths of J Jayaraj and his son, Bennicks Immanuel. While Black Lives Matter protests across the US called for defunding the police, in India, these reported killings asked for a complete reform of the police forces.
然而，美国黑人乔治·弗洛伊德之死发生的背景与印度的J·贾亚拉杰及其子本尼斯·伊曼纽尔在拘留期间死亡的背景完全不同。美国各地的“黑人的命也是命”(Black Lives Matter)抗议活动呼吁取消对警察部门的拨款，而在印度，则要求对警察队伍进行彻底改革。
The call for police reform is not new, and the go nment has enabled several committees to create a roadmap to modernise the forces. This call has also been intensified when gangster Vikas Dubey was allegedly killed by the police in an encounter. And yet, change has been slow to come. Most of the Indian states, for instance, only spend 3% of their annual budgets towards maintaining the police force, and have widespread human resource shortages.
But simply more funds for the police is not going to reduce cases of brutality, according to Maja Daruwala, senior advisor for Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and editor of the India Justice Report. “It’s important to see if current spending is enough and properly utilised before reaching any conclusion on what better-policing costs,” she said.
In an interview with Quartz, Daruwala speaks of the problems with budgetary allocations for the police force, why it hasn’t been modernised, and what states can do immediately to improve the level of sensitisation among officers. Edited excerpts:
Is the amount that Indian states currently spend on their police force enough?
Policing is a state subject, and each state has its own autonomous police department. Expenditure by the states on their police force has a direct bearing on its core competency, for instance, in the form of available human resources and infrastructure. According to the India Justice Report, most states spent anywhere between 3% and 5% of their total budget (in 2015-16) on policing. For some states that were under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, this share was higher at 10%. About 90% of these budgetary allocations is spent on salaries since the police is a personnel-intensive service. The operational expense of running police stations or capacity building for personnel is therefore greatly reduced.
For the current financial year, the total union budget allocation for the police by the ministry of home affairs was Rs1.05 lakh crore ($15 billion), an increase of over Rs2,000 crore from the previous year. Under this budget, it has brought the per capita spend on police to approximately Rs873 ($11.63). This includes the spending on central forces and central schemes such as the modernisation of police forces (MPF).
Poor budgetary allocations do leave the police inadequately resourced and staffed, however current publicly available data is insufficient to conclude whether budgetary allocations are adequate or if utilisation is effective or will improve performance if increased.
How do these budgetary allocations compare with police forces globally?
Budgetary allocations are based on a number of factors, and one should be wary of making comparisons with other countries with smaller populations.
In 2018-19, the United Kingdom spent £1.13 billion ($1.43 billion) on its police. In light of recent calls to defund the police in America, we now have data that tells us that for the 2019 fiscal year, the New York Police Department alone spent nearly $6 billion.
Here too, nearly all police spending (97%) was for operational costs, such as salaries and benefits. Over the last five decades, capital spending has never accounted for more than 5% of police spending.
An efficient and effective police can only be created through a constant evaluative process.
No matter what the allocation, it is important to tie spending to outcomes. An efficient and effective police can only be created through a constant evaluative process that surveys the needs of policing and aligns budgets accordingly.
What else can be done immediately to reduce the cases of brutality on the part of the police against citizens?
Brutality and impunity of the police are a reality, and unfortunately, reforms remain in the rhetoric stage. The recent Tamil Nadu custodial torture case has garnered much attention and outrage, and rightly so. Official statistics show that in 2018 there were 70 deaths in police custody. Data show that for 1,727 custodial deaths being recorded in India between 2001 and 2018, only 26 policemen were convicted.
There are a number of things that can be done immediately. First, ensure there is zero-tolerance for every infraction big or small has negative consequences for the perpetrator. States could also review the way that recruitment is done and increase the diversity profile of the force from top to bottom. There is a need to radically overhaul induction training and make it “real,” ensuring that pre-existing societal biases are cleansed and belief in lawful procedure is made paramount.
Police reform? In India? Good luck.
That is real life of India.
Police reform in India means they put on shoes from flip flops.
Money has nothing to do with reforming behavior.
India is a whole other story.
have look at these animals ... and animals are better !
They need toilets
Half the people in India are starving
Good luck. Corruption is there source of wealth.
America has its issues. However, I would not want to live anywhere else!!
Anyone who has ever dealt with Indians IN India know this is not a money issue but a ideology within the culture issue. Just because you threw a blank check at their police does not change their flawed social hierarchy system.
Get them on a diet first
Cops are high school dropouts who were bullied in school and now that they have weapons they think they are untouchable.
Indian police are simply unbelievable.
How is Democracy working out in India ?
As long as India is against China, doesn't matter what India is doing is OK with US. US will continue to sell all kind of weapons to India with low discounted price. So please praise India, don't blame India, otherwise, your are not politically correct.
Well body deodorant should help a lot
Glad they dont use choke hold!
What do we need to reform police in US? I am guessing a revolution.