Southern and Northeastern states occupy the top positions in terms of overall policing, according to the Indian Police Foundation Smart Policing Index 2021. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Kerala and Sikkim are the five top states in policing. The northern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are the laggards.
Bihar, in fact, ranks right at the bottom, followed closely by Uttar Pradesh, according to findings of the nationwide survey conducted by independent think-tank IPF.
The survey pegs the national average of satisfaction with the police at 69 per cent.
The ‘IPF Smart Policing Survey 2021: Index of Public Perceptions and Citizen Satisfaction’, released on Monday, said a majority of the citizens – 66.93% of 1.61 lakh surveyed – believe that the police across the country are doing their job well.
According to the survey, Andhra Pradesh (8.11) was at the top of IPD SMART Policing Index followed by Telangana (8.10), Assam (7.89), Kerala (7.53) and Sikkim (7.18) while Karnataka was found at the 14th position with a score of 6.69.
At the bottom were Bihar (5.74), Uttar Pradesh (5.81), Chhattisgarh (5.93), Jharkhand (6.07) and Punjab (6.07).
The survey was conducted following Prime Minister Narendra Modi articulating SMART Policing while addressing the Conference of Directors General of Police in 2014. SMART policing envisaged systemic changes to transform the police to be: Strict and Sensitive, Modern and Mobile, Alert and Accountable, Reliable and Responsive, Tech-savvy and Trained.
“The survey is an attempt to assess the performance of various states on PM’s Smart Policing initiative. While it is heartening to see 69% people being satisfied with policing in the country, we hope wherever there are flaws, this survey will motivate states to do better,” said Prakash Singh, IPF chairman and former DGP of Uttar Pradesh.
IPF president and founder N Ramachandran, who is a retired IPS officer, oversaw the conduct of the survey, which reached out to more than 1.61 lakh people across the country over the past five months. The survey was conducted both online and offline.
“We felt it was a good time to look at the achievement of the strategy and analyse the Prime Minister’s vision,” IPF president N Ramachandran told the media during a press conference.
On the specific issue on police sensitivity, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Assam in that order topped the list while Bihar and UP were at the bottom. When it comes to perception on strictness and good behaviour, the toppers were the same while Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar were at the bottom.
In the fair and unbiased policing category, the best performing states, according to the survey, are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Kerala and Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Nagaland and Jharkhand are at the bottom of the index.
In police accountability, the top states are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Kerala and Odisha, while Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh are again at the bottom.
“There were two striking findings of the survey where those who had had no contact with the police [in the past five years] had a poorer perception of them compared to those who had. Also, with almost one third of the population being dissatisfied with the police, it is a huge number that we must take cognisance of,” Ramachandran said.
He added that the survey had its limitations given the sample size for such a huge country and also responses from different states not being even.
The survey had 10 sets of questionnaires, which included six indices of “Competence-Based Indicators” dealing with issues such as police sensitivity, accessibility, responsiveness and technology adoption among others; and three indices of “Value-Based indicators” dealing with integrity of the police; and one index of “Trust”.
States and Union Territories such as Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Ladakh, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli were not included in the final report as they returned less than 300 responses.