New Delhi: Recording the highest crime rate in the country, Uttar Pradesh has an overwhelming vacancy of 60 percent in its police force as compared to the country average of 25 percent.

At a time when the number of crimes like murder and atrocities against the Schedules Castes (ST) is abnormally high in UP, the state's police force has only 1,49,168 personnel out of the 3,68,260 sanctioned posts as on January 1, 2011.
      
Interestingly, 22,87,799 cases, including 4401 of murder, were registered in UP - the highest number of registered crime cases in any state in India.
      
UP, which is the most populous state, recorded the highest 6,272 cases of crime against SCs out of a total of 32,712 -- 19.2 percent of the total incidents in the country in 2010.
      
As of January 1, 2011, the country has 25 percent vacancy in its all police forces -- 5,01,069 vacant posts against the total sanctioned strength of 20,64,370 posts.

The other states which have failed to fill up vacancies in their police forces are Andhra Pradesh (31 percent) with only 90,503 police personnel against the sanctioned posts of 1,31,099 posts, Bihar (28 percent vacant) -- 62,500 on the job against the sanctioned strength of 85,939 posts and Gujarat (27 percent) -- 64,376 policemen are on rolls against the sanctioned strength of 87,877 posts.
      
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too had said that no system or structure can be better than the people who man it. "It is, therefore, important that we find ways and means of improving not just the number but also the quality of our police personnel," he said last week addressing the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security.

States with high vacancy in police forces are Tamil Nadu (16 percent posts are vacant), where 1,02,297 are working against the sanctioned strength of 1,20,441 posts and
Maharashtra (11 percent vacancy), which has 1,37,826 personnel on rolls against the sanctioned strength of 1,53,148 posts.
      
The situation in Rajasthan and Karnataka, with both having 11 percent vacant posts, and Madhya Pradesh, which has 10 percent vacant posts, is no better. Rajasthan has 71,026 personnel against the sanctioned strength of 79,554 posts, Karnataka has 81,842 personnel against the sanctioned strength of 91,256 posts and Madhya Pradesh has 75,742 personnel against the sanctioned strength of 83,524 posts.
      
Home Minister P Chidambaram has termed the findings of the Bureau of Police Research and Development study as a "wake-up call".
      
"I would urge you to take corrective steps that are so urgently needed in order to enhance our capacity to meet the challenges," he said at the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security last week.

(JPN/Agencies)