NEW DELHI: The strength of women personnel in state and Union Territory police forces registered a significant 16% jump last year, with their share rising to 10.3% as on January 1 this year (reflecting 2019 data) from 8.9% on January 1, 2019. Though the improvement is welcome, the cumulative percentage and numbers continue to reflect the male domination of police forces.
Among the states, Bihar police —covering civil police, district armed reserve, special armed police and India Reserve Battalions — had the highest share of women personnel at 25.3%, followed by Himachal with 19.15%, Chandigarh with 18.78% and Tamil Nadu police with 18.5% women personnel. Overall, almost one-fifth of sanctioned positions for personnel in police forces across the country remain vacant.
On the other hand, data on police organisations released by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) on Tuesday shows the police-population ratio or the actual strength of police personnel per lakh population has fallen to 155.7 from 158.2. Sanctioned police personnel per lakh population, however, were at 195.4 as compared to corresponding figure of 198.4 as on January 1, 2019.
Statewise data on police-population ratio (per lakh population) – calculation based on the actual strength of police – saw Nagaland doing the best with 1,301 police personnel per lakh population, followed by Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The states and UTs with the lowest police-population ratio were Bihar (76.2 police personnel per lakh population), Daman & Diu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and MP.
Another significant parameter for police coverage – police-area ratio or personnel (sanctioned) per 100 sq km – was recorded at 79.8, slightly up from 78.9 as on 01.01.2019.
As per the latest data on police organisations, the actual strength of police force in the states and UTs stood at 20.9 lakh, as against a sanctioned strength of 26.23 lakh. In other words, there were nearly 5.3 lakh posts vacant.
The strength of women personnel across state and UT police grew from around 1.85 lakh to 2.15 lakh, marking a 16 % increase. While women in khakhi comprised 10.3% of the state and UT police forces, their share in the central armed police forces (CAPFs) was just 2.9 %. Of the total 29,249 women personnel in the 9.9 lakh-strong CAPFs, 8,631 belonged to CISF, 7,860 to CRPF, 5,130 to BSF.
The share of women in state and UT police has registered a steady rise since 2014, from around 1.11 lakh in 2014 to 2.15 lakh in 2019. This has been facilitated by reservation policy being followed in some states and UTs. Around 14 states and UTs offer 33% reservation for women in their police, two states 20% quota and three states 10% quota. Even Central forces like CISF, SSB and RPF have introduced reservation for women in varying degrees.
Statewise, Jammu & Kashmir police has the worst share of women at 3.31%, followed by Telangana (5.11%). Among other data, around 43,566 police personnel gave protection to 19,467 VIPs (ministers, MPs, judges, bureaucrats etc) for more than six months in 2019. However, the number of protected persons (for periods beyond six months in 2019) was much lower than the corresponding figure of 21,300 in 2018. The number of terrorism and extremism-hit districts as on January 1 this year was down at 161 from 174 a year earlier.
Transport availability per 100 sanctioned police personnel was 7.74, down from 7.89. BPR&D data further reveals that 143 police stations did not have wireless/mobile facility and 257 were without any vehicles.