Constables in Delhi given more powers
The Delhi police is in the process of delegating powers of investigation in heinous offences to constables and head constables in the national capital. At present, the powers to investigate heinous crimes vests with sub-inspector and above senior officers.
The move to delegate powers of investigations into heinous offences like rape, murder and dacoity to the constabulary-level personnel is bound to help the force to speed up the investigation process in heinous offences. The police officers had been complaining that they were not able to fully concentrate on investigation process as many of them were either busy handling VVIP security, protests and demonstrations and attending court cases.
The 77,000 strong police force not only provides security to 1.5 crore Delhiites, it is also responsible for guarding the VVIP’s in the high-profile Lutyen’s zone. The force also handles traffic flow of 85 lakh vehicles every day in the city.
The crime rate too has been on the rise with the police force adopting a liberal attitude in registration of FIRs in the city. Of 53,353 cases registered in 2011, 2,171 were heinous offences. In 2012, the force registered 54,287 cases, including 2,402 of heinous nature. The figure went up to 80,184 cases, including 4,159 of heinous nature, in 2013. There was a steep rise in the crime cases in 2014 with the force registering as many as 15,5654 cases, including 10,266 of heinous nature. This year, the police has registered 28,056 cases, including 1,509 of heinous nature.
The police force had also been demanding additional manpower to handle its day-to-day activities in a smooth manner. The force had requested the Centre that it be provided with 4,749 officers to handle only investigations. The force has also demanded 5,347 officers for its traffic wing. Also, it has demanded a battalion of 20,000 women officers.
The police force has also said that it was short of many officers against its sanctioned strength. For example, there are only 12 additional commissioners against the sanctioned strength of 19. At the lower ranks, the force is short of 127 ACP’s, 37 inspectors, 502 sub-inspectors, 231 assistant sub-inspectors, 909 head-constables and 1,499 constables.
A senior officer said that special training sessions would be given to constables and head-constables to perform the role of investigating officers in handling the heinous offences.
The powers of delegating powers of investigations and other administrative reforms vest with the Delhi police commissioner.
The police force had also been under tremendous pressure of the city courts to speed up investigations in a large number of serious offences.