Under the Police Modernisation Scheme proposed by the Sixth Finance Commission, computer system was introduced in the police establishments of eleven States. Besides, a joint computer centre was set up at Chandigarh to cater to the needs of four adjoining States, namely, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.
In 1976, a Directorate of Coordination Police Computers (DCPC) was established in Delhi which has been assigned the function of ensuring adequate financial assistance to the State for setting up computer centre and provide training facilities for preparing data bank of crime record etc.
A National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) has been set up in 1985 which maintains complete record of crime statistics throughout the country. In its annual publication ‘Crime in India’, all important statistical information relating to crime and criminals, juveniles, police, courts, prisons etc. is furnished for the guidance of the concerned departments.
The Bureau of Police Research and Development head-quartered in Delhi is actively involved in scientific research and development of new technologies in police investigating methods. There are at present more than 200 forensic laboratories functioning in India including eight central laboratories and 138 mobile units which function under different State Governments.
However, the forensic scientists feel that it is necessary to upgrade these laboratories in view of the growing crime in this country and the adoption of sophisticated methods by criminals. There is dire need to ensure uniform standards in all the State laboratories particularly DNA test facilities which is one of the most reliable forms of investigation developed so far and can save time and manpower by the probing agencies.
Inquiries, however, leveal that forensic laboratories are not functioning properly as they fail to cope with the work-load. Thousands of cases referred to these laboratories are not cleared for several months and if the reports are not given within three months, forensic test becomes meaningless. Therefore, there is need to revitalise the functioning of these forensic laboratories.
In a pluralistic and fragmented society like ours, with its ethnic and regional disparities as well as cultural diversities, the question of socio-economic justice makes a serious impact on the law and order situation. This has thrown new challenges before the police force.
There is no doubt that the police, like any other organ of the administration has to be sensitised to the needs and reactions of the people and simultaneous efforts should also be made to ensure that the police develops as an efficient purposive and self-respecting force immune to both, political abuse and politically motivated criticism.
The changes in the nature of crime as well as criminals over the years has necessitated modernization of the police force to cope up with the new challenges. The ever-increasing political interference of political leaders has complicated the task of police further. Political agitations have tended to subvert the priorities for the police because instead of concentrating on prevention and control of crime they are pre-occupied with maintenance of public order for which responsibility is diffused and accountability is difficult to determine.
Under these conditions there is dire need for raising the efficiency of police force by greater professionalism and scientific training. The effectiveness of the police as agents of social control should not be allowed to be blunted by political interference in their functioning.