Functions, Roles and Duties of Police in General in India

A senior police officer may perform any duty assigned by law or by a lawful order to any officer subordinate to him, and may aid, supplement, supersede or prevent any action of the subordinate by his own action or that of any person lawfully acting under his command or authority, whenever the same shall appear necessary or expedient for giving more complete or convenient effect to the law or for avoiding any infringement thereof.

Model Police Act 2006

Model Police Act 2006

Police are one of the most ubiquitous organisations of the society. The policemen, therefore, happen to be the most visible representatives of the government. In an hour of need, danger, crisis and difficulty, when a citizen does not know, what to do and whom to approach, the police station and a policeman happen to be the most appropriate and approachable unit and person for him. The police are expected to be the most accessible, interactive and dynamic organisation of any society. Their roles, functions and duties in the society are natural to be varied, and multifarious on the one hand; and complicated, knotty and complex on the other. Broadly speaking the twin roles, which the police are expected to play in a society are maintenance of law and maintenance of order. However, the ramifications of these two duties are numerous, which result in making a large inventory of duties, functions, powers, roles and responsibilities of the police organisation.

The Inventory of Police Duties, Functions & Jobs

In the light of above mentioned description of police work and functioning, an inventory of police duties, functions and jobs can be prepared in the following manner:

1. Investigation related duties and jobs
2. Crime prevention and preservation of peace and security
3. Crime detection work
4. Order maintenance and security jobs
5. Enforcement of Social Legislation, Minor, Major and Special Acts
6. Collection of Intelligence
7. Democratic and election related duties
8. Natural calamities, disaster management and emergency duties
9. Maintenance of Police Records
10. PRO duties
11. Assistance to other departments
12. Miscellaneous duties and functions

Crime prevention and preservation of peace and security This would include:

a) gast and patrolling, including nakabandi, performing picket and ambush jobs, checking vehicles and frisking passengers
b) surveillance and checking of bad characters
c) preventive arrests
d) collection and transmission of criminal intelligence

Crime detection work- The crime detection job profile would include:

(a) collection of information/intelligence about criminals of various types and taking notes from the CIG.
(b) Creation of mukhbirs/informers and creating contacts with the members of criminal tribes and other segments of society so as to obtain useful information with regard to the detection of various property and other offences like murder, dacoity, robbery etc.

Collection of Intelligence -Police are required to collect intelligence about:

a) any incident of law and order
b) political activities
c) labour activities
d) student activities and agitations thereof
e) communal tensions and events
f) employees’ associations and strikes by them
g) criminal activities
h) miscellaneous activities and events tending to destroy peace and tranquility.

Maintenance of Police Records-This would include:

(a) proper handling of the record
(b) upkeep and maintenance of the record
(c) preparation, destruction, revision and modification of the record of various police units

Assistance to other departments, this would include assistance to

(a) the education department during examinations, students, and employees’ strikes and other situations of disorder,
(b) the revenue department and loaning organizations for recovery of loans revenue collection etc.,
(c) the departments like banks and municipalities for guards etc for the removal of encroachments etc, and
(d) the other departments as and when the need arises.

Miscellaneous duties and functions
This would include:

a) ceremonial duties
b) discharging regulatory duties and regulation of traffic and traffic management duties.
c) comprehension of the norms of loyalty, commitment, neutrality and impartiality in the discharge of one’s functions
d) obligation and commitment to the Govt. and to the police organization
e) contribution of constables during anti-dacoity operations, raids, emergencies, rounding up of and controlling of goonda and anti-social elements.

Methods, Modalities and Strategies of Conflict Resolution by Police

Conflict resolution is a comprehensive outcome in which underlying causes of the conflict are removed so that no latent and residual elements are left unattended to avoid triggering off and recurrence of the conflict. The various methods, modalities and strategies of conflict resolution could take recourse to the following points, in addition to others, which are deemed fit and proper, with regard to the conflict in question.

a) Early warning and prevention
b) Reconstruction and reconciliation
c) Conflict transformation
d) Negative and positive peace
e) Consultation
f) Conciliation
g) Mediation
h) Negotiation
i) Arbitration
j) Problem solving
k) People-participation in conflict resolution
l) Multi-track interventions

Director General of Police

The Director General and Inspector General of Police is the head of the Police Department in whom is vested the administration of the Police throughout the State. He is the adviser to Government in all matters relating to the administration of the Police force. He is responsible to Government for the internal economy, equipment, training and discipline of the force, for its efficient organisation as a means of preventing and detecting crime and maintaining law and order and for the efficient discharge of duties by officers of all ranks. It is therefore, his duty to decide or advice the Government on all spheres of police administration and on the state of crime and all activities having a bearing on law and order.

Subject to approval of the Government, he may from time to time frame such orders not inconsistent with the Police Act, as he shall deem expedient, relating to the general administration and distribution of the force, the places of residence, the inspection of units, the collection and communication of intelligence, modernization and such other matters with a view to keeping the force efficient in the discharge of all its duties.  The Director General of Police is empowered to make Rules and Orders under Police Act. Important Orders and Rules involving radical changes may be issued by the Director General and Inspector General of Police with the prior approval of the Government.

Superintendent of Police

The administration of the Police throughout a district or part thereof shall be fully vested in the superintendent of Police. His work is of varied nature and in doing it, he should keep in view the following essential requirements:-

a) to keep the district peaceful and the public satisfied with the security afforded to persons and property;
b) to keep the force under control, in good discipline, well-trained, efficient and contented;
c) to maintain cordial relations with the magistracy and other officials and non-officials;
d) to ensure that the transport, arms and ammunition, stores and buildings belonging to the department are maintained in good condition;
e) to promote good police-public relations;
f) to organize good intelligence arrangements.
g) To acquire full and detailed knowledge of the district and its current problems from the Police point of view;
h) to participate, to the extent possible and permissible, in welfare activities sponsored by official and non-official agencies;
i) to gain the confidence and loyalty of sub-ordinates by personal integrity, impartiality, devotion to duty, and a high sense of justice;
j) to ensure by consistent supervision that the prevention, investigation and detection of crime in his district are properly and efficiently dealt with by the force under his command;
k) to get to know all officers and men serving under him, redress their grievances if any, encourage those who are promising and effectively deal with those who are guilty of misconduct or remiss in the discharge of duty;
l) to ensure the honesty and integrity of his subordinate officers;
m) to study crimes and criminals in his district as a whole; and
n) to pay surprise visits to the police stations at irregular intervals and check up whether officers and men are alert.

The Superintendent of Police should consider it a part of his duty, as far as possible to give the Sub-Divisional Officers the benefit of his personal guidance and instruction whenever necessary. A Sub-division, wherein an officer is acting for the first time as sub-divisional Police Officer, should be visited as soon as possible after the latter has settled down. The sub-divisions in-charge of junior officers should be visited frequently.

Heinous Crime Report

immediately after visiting the scene in a heinous crime, and in any case not later than a week of the issue of the FIR the Sub-Divisional Police Officer should send a detailed report in duplicate to the Superintendent of Police, who will forward one copy to the Range Dy. Inspector General. A grave crime report should be sent by the Sub-Divisional Police Officer in a heinous crime even if it has not been investigated by him and even if it is treated as false or as a mistake of fact.

Progress Report

Progress reports should be sent in duplicate every week till the final disposal of the case to the Superintendent of Police, who will forward a copy of it to the Dy. Range Inspector General of Police. It is open to the Superintendent and the Range Officers to order the discontinuance of progress reports in any particular case. Detailed progress reports received by the Range Dy. Inspector General of Police should be filed in his office, where a watch should be maintained over the progress and disposal of cases. Copies of grave crime reports and their progress reports should not be sent to the office of the Director General.

Sub Inspector (Station House Officer)

The duties of officer in charge of a police station are set out in the Police Acts and CrPC. They broadly relate to maintenance of law and order, prevention and detection of crime, investigation and prosecution of offences etc., etc.

He will forward to the court the weapons and article seized from the accused, as well as, seizure affected from searches along with necessary reports. He will supervise investigations conducted by the IOs and will obtain progress reports. He shall write the case diaries regularly and forward them to the superior officers promptly to enable them to give instructions for further investigations. He shall finalize the cases without delay and file charge sheets where the evidence is sufficient for prosecution within the period of limitation imposed by the Cr.P.C. and Courts. He shall promptly serve and would ensure service of summons and execute warrants.

It shall be the duty of the SHO to use his best endeavours and ability to prevent crimes, preserve peace, apprehend disorderly and suspicious characters, to investigate and detect offences, bring the offenders to justice, collect and communicate intelligence effecting public peace and promptly obey and execute all orders lawfully issued.

The Sub-Inspector in charge of a Police Station is fully responsible for the Police Administration of his charge. The Sub-Inspector is an important and vital functionary in the police department. He shall be responsible for proper management of the station and optimum utilization of the resources and facilities available. It shall be his duty to manage the staff and work of the police station in accordance with the law and rules and to make the police station a place where the needy public gets necessary and immediate response. The image of the police department basically reflects on the conduct and behaviour of the Sub-Inspector and his staff in the station, as it is at that  point, public has a direct access with the police. The Sub-Inspector and his staff should behave politely and courteously with the public giving an impression of friendly approach. Active co-operation from Citizen Committees shall be solicited in the matters of L&O, crime prevention etc. All illegal methods or ill treatments against persons should be avoided at all costs giving way to an impression to the public that the police are there to extend their helping hand in the discharge of their duties. The Sub-Inspector must respect human values and human dignity and should know that powers are vested in him to discharge his duties legitimately but not to arrogate to satisfy his ego and vanity. If he crosses his limits he will be doing so at his risk as the department will not come to his rescue.

Assistant Sub-Inspector
The following shall be the duties of the Assistant Sub-Inspector.

A. Investigation of simple cases as directed by SHO and assisting investigation in
all cases handled by SHOs and other superior officers
B. Petition enquiry
C. Checking of enquiries in verification rolls
D. Supervision of service of process work
E. To function as an officer in charge of a beat area and check patrols
F. Direct supervision or handling of station scriptory work
G. Detailing duties to the staff during Sub-Inspectors absence and exercising
supervision and control over the Constables and Head Constables
H. Maintenance of cash book
I. Preparation of pay and traveling allowance bills (He should sign them only
when the SI is absent)
J. Maintenance of arms and ammunition and registers connected therewith
K. To be in charge of out post or beat and perform these duties when posted there
L. Such other work as may be entrusted to him

First Information Report Book

Information coming under any of the following headings received at a Police Station, shall be registered in the First Information Report Book, which is the book prescribed under Section 154, Criminal Procedure Code:

(1) cognizable cases including those referred to the Police by Magistrates for investigation or inquiry under Sections 156 (3) and 202 Criminal Procedure Code;
(2) fires, missing of cattle and all other occurrences where there is reason to suspect the commission of a cognizable offence;
(3) non-cognizable cases endorsed to the Police by Magistrates for investigation or inquiry under Sections 155 (2) and 202 Criminal Procedure Code;
(4) cases under Sections 41, 102, 107 to 110 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, only one First Information Report being issued if more than one person is involved in a case;
(5) reports made to Magistrates with a view to action being taken under Sections 144 and 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
(6) Cases under Section 182 or 211 P.C. when it is proposed to prosecute the complainant for false complaint, although not investigated under Section 155(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.


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