18% shortage in Mumbai Police force

Mumbai Police, which has been at the forefront of maintaining law and order during the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, has been working under stress and a shortage of police personnel. These aspects and quality of working/living conditions of police has affected the overall performance in terms of investigation of cases, which resulted in a 64 percent pendency of investigation last year, revealed the report.

While the Mumbai Police force lost over 90 personnel to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, lifestyle disease like heart disease was the highest cause of death reported from April 2017 to October 2020, which resulted in 113 deaths, followed by cancer (52) and liver/kidney disorders (43).

Mumbai Police spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) S. Chaitanya said, “Mumbai Police has been implementing eight-hour work shifts to address issues of stress and lifestyle disorders, which was disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic when we were short of police personnel. The rule, however, is very much there."

There was an 18 per cent shortage of police personnel in Mumbai compared to the sanctioned posts, which has impacted the existing workforce and overall health of police, revealed the data. “As many as 16 deaths by suicide were also reported since April 2017. In terms of living conditions as well, we have been unable to provide adequate housing for the police force- as on March 2020, only 38 per cent of the police force was allotted police housing”, said Milind Mhaske, Director, Praja Foundation.

The post of police sub-inspector and assistant police sub-inspector categories are hardly reeling under a shortage of 35 and 37 per cent, respectively, adding the pressure of extra working hours to keep up with the detection rate as well as manage the law-and-order of the city.

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