THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state police are likely to reconsider the decision to authorise circle inspectors as station house officers in charge of all police stations in the state. Police sources said the move is to transfer authority from circle inspectors (CI) to sub-inspectors (SI) in police stations where the number of cases is considerably less.
State police chief Anil Kant is learnt to have entrusted North and South zone IGs to conduct a detailed study on the number of cases registered at various police stations within their jurisdiction.
The first major change in the state police structure during the previous tenure of LDF government was the transfer of control of stations from SIs to CIs. The title of CIs was changed to Station Inspector. The reform which began in 2018 was criticised by a section of police officers as it was pointed out that it caused additional job burden on circle inspectors. Currently, 468 stations are managed by circle inspectors.
Recently, a meeting convened by ADGPs discussed the need to reconsider this hierarchy. The stations in the state are divided into three categories — A, B and C — on the basis of case load. The stations with the lowest number of cases are in C category. The new proposal is that instead of CIs, sub-inspectors will hold the charge in these stations. There are more than 100 stations in the state in C category alone.
A decision has been taken to transfer CIs of these stations to Crime Branch and other special units. Sending them back to their home stations will be considered if investigation of cases is delayed due to lack of officers at the station. North and South zone IGs have been advised to examine all these aspects and submit a report to the DGP. At the same time, there are cases that have to be investigated by CI-ranked officers, including cases registered under IT Act. These cases will be probed by CI- ranked officers as per the decision taken earlier.
In 2018, the government had decided to appoint circle inspectors as station house officers in all police stations in the state. The then government was of the view that appointing CIs, who are more experienced in handling cases, will help address complex issues.
With this, handling of law and order came directly under CIs. Each CI had at least three sub inspectors as subordinates. In addition to ensuring law and order within the station limits, traffic duties and crime investigation were also part of their responsibilities. The supervisory role so far played by circle inspectors was handed over to DySPs. Earlier a commission set up to improve the efficiency of police, had recommended that CIs should be appointed as SHOs.