Infographic showing complaints against the Police in India (2010) and what happens to them. View bigger
Firstly, the Indian government has released a cache of police and crime statistics, for which they should be commended. This is an infographic detailing complaints against the police and what happens to them. Basically, most are rejected, more are processed internally, and a fraction make it to court. Of those that make it, only a sliver ever make it out.
What I also found interesting was that the pages on Human Rights Violations (illegal detention, fake arrests, torture, disappearances, extortion). If the Indian police are like the Sri Lankan ones, there’s a lot of good cops, but also a lot of these violations going on. What’s striking in the stats is that, for most states, its zeroes across the board. They reported a total of 110 (counting on fingers) human rights violations for all of India. That includes zero failures to take action, zero indignities towards women, one case of extortion and seven cases of torture.
I just flipped through the data and those tables stood out so I looked around. This infographic shows how many complaints were made against the police in 2010 (51,439) and what happened to them. 30,750 were rejected out of hand as false or uncomfirmed. 21,269 were slated for internal departmental inquiry and 10,384 were sent to the courts.
The courts seem like an impartial option, but the backlog in the Indian system is so bad that only a fraction of any cases get cleared. These cases can drag for years, like a Tamil Nadu case of mass rape and murder that was only resolved after 19 years. Note that the numbers change here. It’s not like those 50k complaints are all processed that year. There’s a huge backlog also running through.
Of those 10k cases, 1,069 cops were tried (can be more than one cop per case). 204 trials were completed, resulting in 53 convictions.
That’s one route. Another is through internal departmental inquiry, getting the cops punished or fired. I assume that people have less faith in this, but it at least moves a bit faster. of 21,269 departmental inquiries, 9,624 cops were reported for what I assume is an internal trial. Here the backlog gets in. In 2010, 15,626 trials were completed, 15,889 minor punishments were doled out, 4,308 major punishments were given and 626 cops were dismissed. Note that these don’t flow in order, a complaint filed 20 years ago could have resulted in a punishment in 2010.
So, all in all, looks like an imperfect system at best, but at least with the data you can get some idea of what it looks like. As RK Raghvan wrote in DNA, there’s obviously under-reporting, but at least they’re reporting. Kudos for that.
I haven’t proofed this too much at all and get design blindness. Please check. The tables I used are in this PDF, starting on page 577.