The police organization which was originally designed for the British to suppress the Indians through use of force was adopted by the government of independent India with modifications. But colonial legacy of the police organization remained as such. Sense of justice, protection of human rights, service mentality, scientific methods of enquiry, disqualified behaviour etc. could not be expected of the colonial police. These limitations prevail even today is varied forms in the police organization of the various Indian states.
The present perspective of the police is that, apart from being a fighting force, it is essential to maintain democratic system and law and order with a sense of service and dedication.
It was the left governments which tried to organize the police force to suit the needs of the democratic form of government. The government of 1957 decided to reorganize the police administration. The decision that police should not intervene in labour disputes was a big step forward. A committee was constituted under the leadership of the Supreme Court lawyer N.C. Chatterjee to study and submit a report on the police organization. The committee had prepared an authentic report. But it could not be implemented because E.M.S government was dismissed in 1959 after the ill-famed liberation struggle. The report treated the police as a service sector. The proposal that armed police should perform social service to the people living around the camps gives an indication of the approach of the N. C. Chatterjee committee.
The first ministry of Kerala played a key role in reorganizing the police force. The disparate police organizations of Travancore, Kochi and Malabar were unified. The strength of the police force at that time was only 11312. Now it has grown four-fold. E.M.S had repeatedly made clear that the relation between the police and the public should be improved. The government of 1957 initiated measures for the welfare of the police force. Steps were taken to allot quarters to police officials. Police welfare fund was instituted. Forensic lab, control room, vehicles with wireless, walki-talkie wireless sets that can be carried by police men etc which are being used by the police today were originally introduced by the EMS government.
The successive left democratic governments followed these policies. The mentality that it is the duty of the police to protect the life and property of the people was deliberately cultivated among them. Many welfare measures were also adopted to assist them. The Government of E.K. Nayanar had enhanced the reward to policemen who died while on duty to 1.5 lakhs and increased the day off allowance by more than 50%. To make the service of the police more effective new ventures like crime stopper, rapid action, patrolling system, highway patrol etc. were also introduced by the Nayanar Government. The state became free of communal violence and other terrorist acts only because of the fact that the police force was allowed to function freely by the left Governments.
The national police commission headed by Dharma Veera had recommended that the police force was to be given the freedom to organize. When Com. T.K. Ramakrishnan was the home minister decision towards this effect was taken. The organizations of police men and officers function properly in our state. The present government is also proceeding with the same policies.
The attempts to transform the police as the friend and helper of the people are found to be effective. The community policing programme implemented in the state as 'Janamaithri Suraksha' programme is a steps towards the attainment of the concept of people's police. As a first step it is implemented within the limits of 20 police stations.
Chapter 41 of the Dharma Veera Commission report of 1977 deals with the relations between police and the public. Though the principle is very old, it was newer implemented. Justice K.T. Thomas Commission which was appointed by the Government of Kerala to study about police reforms introduced the concept of community policing. We move forward with the 'Janamaithri Suraksha' programme which could be a model to the whole of India. When it is reviewed it is seen that the programme is functioning up to our expectations. Night patrolling with the support of the people helped to reduce to a great extent to minimize attempts of theft and burglary. 'Janamaithri' also implements collection of information related to the employees from other states and strangers, organizing medical camps, blood grouping etc. Through such activities a feeling could be created among the people that the police would reach to their help at their back and call and they are their friends.
The Government is taking bold steps to bring to book those criminals who are disguising as god man. The attempt to drag Kerala into superstition and evil practices by denying the renaissance values was defeated through these activities. Steps were also taken to bring to light financial misappropriation of grave dimensions and extremist actions of certain people.
The goonda-mafia groups which were active till two years ago were brought to book. A powerful law was enforced for this purpose. Blade companies, illicit sand mining, cyber crimes, violation of eco-system etc. were brought under the purview of this law (The former UDF government had used this law to suppress political opponents and agitations and the present government transformed it to curb illegal activities). For implementing the law a commission was constituted under Justice K.K. Dinesan. Several people involved in anti-social activities were taken into custody.
The relevant law was amended to reform the police force. The law which is in force was formulated in the 1960's. This was not much different from the old British law. It is in this context that Kerala had introduced the new law. The anachronic rules were deleted in the new law. Detection of crimes and maintenance of law and order were separated and the new scheme was implemented in Trivandrum, Kochi and Kozhikode. This scheme will be extended when the number of public personnel is increased. The service tenure of the police officers were fixed. The state safety council was constituted by including the Leader of Opposition. A complaint authority was constituted to inquire about the complaints against the police.
A comprehensive scheme was introduced to computerize the entire police stations in the state. The forensic lab was expanded by adding equipments for DNA finger print, polygraph, spectroscope, chromatograph etc. and crime detection were made more scientific. Cyber crimes are on the increase all over the country. Our high-tech crime cell has become prominent by bringing to light many complicated cases. Cyber forensic division was started in the state at the cost of Rs. 55 lakhs. The central government has promised to help to establish a Cyber Crime Centre in Trivandrum with national standards at a cost of about 3 crores of rupees.
The police academy at Thrissur, which imparts expert training to the police, has been brought to the national attention. More than 3000 personnel were recruited to the police. Steps were taken to fill up the vacancies without delay. The prevailing system will take years to recruit police personnel after selection and training for nine months. As a precaution the likely vacancies which may arise at the year end are calculated in advance and reported to the PSC for selection.
The LDF Government takes care of the welfare of the police personnel. The position of a person who enters the service as constable and retires after several years of service in the same rank was changed. This problem was solved by redesignating those who completed 15 years of service as Head Constables and those who completed 23 years as Sub-inspector. Those who perform sentry duty were provided with revolvers by replacing rifles. The duty time is fixed as eight hours. It was implemented in 17 stations. It is being extended to more stations. Grievance redressal mechanism was introduced. New quarters were constructed for constables and officers. In short, the Kerala police organization is witnessing the great reforming activity in its history.