In separate letters to chief secretaries and DGPs of all states and union territories, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said the number of cognisable IPC crimes in the country has gone up to 26,47,722 in 2013 from 21,21,345 in 2009 and provision of adequate manpower in state police forces is one of the pre-requisites to arrest such a trend.
"In view of the aforesaid, may I request you to initiate a time-bound action plan to fill up the existing vacancies in the state police preferably within a period of one year," he wrote in the letter.
The highest 1,01,100 posts of police personnel are lying vacant in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 45,191 in Gujarat, 38,725 in West Bengal and 32,247 vacancies in Andhra Pradesh as on January 1, 2013.
Goswami asked the state governments to review the existing sanctioned strength of police personnel at all levels in light of crime rate, available technology and national and international benchmarks for police population ratio so as to strengthen and maintain a feeling of safety and security in the country by preventing crimes and upholding law and order.
"This shortage has the potential to adversely affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the law-and-order machinery and the confidence of the citizens in the capacity of the police to protect the property and lives of people," the letter said.
Quoting Bureau of Police Research and Development records, Goswami said against the 22,09,027 sanctioned posts in police forces in the country, there are 16,60,666 police personnel as on January 1, 2013, leaving 5,48,361 posts vacant.
There are also 22,440 vacancies in police force of Haryana, 20,916 in Chhattisgarh, 20,670 in Tamil Nadu, 20,274 in Karnataka, 19,251 in Bihar and 17,352 in Punjab.