NEW DELHI: The boom in tourism sector has come with a bane: rising crimes against foreign tourists. A recent study by the Ministry of Tourism on the ‘Functioning of Tourist Police in States’ has raised questions on the working of the tourist police in the country.
Lack of a proper training module for the tourist police has hit the security measure for travellers. The study has recommended introducing a uniform ‘Tourist Police Scheme’ in the country to help serve the tourists better. As per the study, 14 states have a separate wing of tourist police.
“Training imparted to the tourist police is not satisfactory. Even if some of the state governments are imparting such training, they are restricted to a short duration of a day or two,” said the study conducted by the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management.
Recommending separate training programme, the study says, “Training programmes which are of minimum seven days duration are suggested to be effective. Such trainings should give emphasis on behaviour, attitude and skill development.”
The study has pointed out that 486 crimes were reported against foreign tourists in 2014. Majority of these cases were reported from Delhi (164), followed by Goa (73), Uttar Pradesh (66), Maharashtra (59), Rajasthan (36), Karnataka (14) and Bihar (13). These seven states together accounted for 425 cases (87.4 per cent).
Among these, theft cases accounted for about 53.5 per cent (260 cases), followed by assault on woman with an intent to outraging her modesty (39 cases), rape, robbery and cheating (22 cases each), and 21 cases of forgery.
“Some of the state governments have deployed tourist police from their existing police set-up. However, this is not a committed force and there is always a possibility of their redeployment in case of other pressing law and order situations,” the study says.
Based on the recommendations specified by the study team, tourism secretary reiterated the need for strong security enforcement, said a senior official of the ministry.
The study also suggests that the uniform of the tourist police should be different so that they can be recognised easily.