THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Operational difficulties arising from the government decision to entrust Circle Inspectors with the charge of police stations have prompted the Police Department to ask for a larger number of police sub-divisions.
As per the new proposal, details of which are with Express, the Police Department wants to double the number of sub-divisions from the current 60. For that is touted to help the Deputy Superintendents (DySPs) exercise a better control over police stations. About 203 police stations have so far got CIs as Station House Officers (SHO). In the remaining 279 stations, SHOs will be appointed soon. Earlier, Sub-Inspectors were in charge of individual stations while a CI monitored one or two stations.
After the new stipulation, CIs became heads of stations and the task of monitoring them fell on the DySPs.
With 12-16 stations coming under the jurisdiction of a rural DySP, the decision meant that the officer has to oversee literally the day-to-day activities of all stations. It is in this backdrop that the Police Department is suggesting the bifurcation of police sub-divisions.
If the police proposal gets the government nod, in the case of a sub-division with 16 stations, there will be two sub-divisions with eight stations each. State police chief Loknath Behera said the proposal will be submitted to the government once the order on the Inspectors is issued.
“The decision to have a senior officer as SHO has gone down well with the public,” Behera said.“But there are complaints from a section of officers because their workload has gone up. The remedy for their woes is to split the police sub-divisions so that each DySP can look after relatively smaller number of stations. This will improve law and order and crime investigation.” He also said senior police officers should be attending to public issues than SIs with one or two years’ experience. Restructuring of sub-divisions, he said, is imperative.
“There are sub-divisions with an unimaginable number of stations. To manage those areas well and bring them under the eyes of senior officers, there needs to be restructuring of the sub-divisions,” he said. Several DySPs whom Express spoke to expressed their resentment over the increased workload after CIs were appointed as SHOs. “Sub-Inspectors were easily accessible to the people,” said a DySP.
“If people wanted a higher officer to attend to some grievance, CIs were there. But since CIs have been appointed as SHOs, they have no other option but to come to the DySP,” he said.