Kerala Police

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Kerala Police
കേരള പോലീസ്
Abbreviation K.P (കേ.പോ)
Kerala Police Logo1.png
Seal of Kerala Police
Kerala Police Badge.png
The official badge of Kerala Police.
Flag of Kerala Police.svg
The official flag of Kerala Police.
Motto "മൃദു ഭാവെ, ദൃഢ കർമ്മ" Mridu Bhave Dhrida Kruthye
Soft Temperament, Firm Action
Agency overview
Formed 1 November, 1956
Preceding agencies
  • Royal Travancore Police
  • Cochin State Royal Police
  • Malabar Special Police- Madras Presidency
Employees 49,149
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Kerala, IN
India Kerala locator map.svg
Map of Kerala Police Department's jurisdiction
Size 38863 km2 (15005 sq mi)
Population 31,841,374
Legal jurisdiction State of Kerala
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by Home Office, Government of Kerala
Headquarters State Police Headquarters, Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram – 695-010
Polices 42,149
Ministerial staffs 7,000
Elected officer responsible Ramesh Chennithala (Home Minister)
Agency executive K. S. Balasubramanian[1], Director General of Police, Kerala State
Parent agency Home Office, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Kerala
Departments
Specialized Polices
Facilities
Police stations 525[2]
SUVs 1786
Heavy police vehicles 402
Patrol and transport cars 127
High speed marine interceptors 25
Sniffer dogs (bombs and narcotics)[3]s 30
Cavalry horses (mounted force)[4]s 30
Website
www.keralapolice.org
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Kerala State Police is the law enforcement agency for the state of Kerala, India. Kerala Police has its headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital. The police training college was set up by Travancore Maharaja in Thiruvananthapuram in the mid 20th century. In 2004, a larger Kerala Police Academy was built at Thrissur. The motto of the force is Mridhu bhave dhrida krthye which means "Soft in Temperament, Firm in Action" in Sanskrit.

Kerala Police has a reputation for being one of the best managed police forces in the country, and one of the top-ranking states in terms of law and order, in various social security rankings.[5] Since 2006, the Kerala Police department has embarked on a major modernization program to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. The Kerala police are also the first police department in South Asia to undertake community policing.

History[edit]

The first references of an independent policing unit in ancient Kerala history was traced back to the period of Imperial Cheras, who ruled much of Kerala and West coast of India till 1102 AD. The reference in Sangam literature, throws light on a special type of guards outside regular army, known as Kolkaran or one who carried the Kole (a stick) represented the authority. Similar references are made in many historical works during that era.

Towards the declining period of Chera Empire, many feudal kingdoms rose in Kerala, and each feudal lord became responsible for maintaining his authority over the people. This led to maintaining private force along with irregulars for maintaining peace and harmony in each one's terrority and to quell any acts of aggression against the lords. Policemen during this era were known in different names like Velkar in North Malabar, Kavilkar in Middle Kerala and Madampimar in Southern Kerala. These men were responsible not only in regular policing works, but also into tax collection and oppression of rebels. Many of their acts were too inhuman and laws favoured rich and mighty during this era. During this era, these men had magistrate powers to decide upon merit of case and take punishments, which thereby considered as not fair in modern sense.

The foundations of modern police system came in 1835, when Travancore Maharaja, HH Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma abolished the system of feudal lordship (Naduvazhi and Deshavazhi system) and handed over the magistrate powers to legal courts constituted by the King with learned men as judges along with a written codified law. With the abolishment of feudal lordships, the powers of private force to maintain law and order ceased and administration of justice, peace, and order fell upon the state. The Travancore's Royal Nair Brigade (Travancore Army) was given the responsibility of maintaining internal law and order, through a special division called as Sudarshana Sena (Guards).

Until 1881, the work of the police was combined with that of the magistrates. Actually, such a combination was found objectionable in principle and was most convenient in practice. The Indian Police act in 1861, which was made applicable to the British India, had attracted the attention of several provinces. In Travancore, Dewan Rama Iyengar was appointed for preparing a report on the basis of the Indian Police Act. Thereafter, the Travancore Police was reorganised on the basis of Rama Iyengars's report and the process was completed in 1881. The following were the important recommendations of Rama Iyengar:

  • The police force should be separated from magistracy
  • A superintendent should conduct the administration of the police under the direct control of Maharaja
  • Certain criteria should be adopted for the recruitment of police personnel
  • They should serve in any part of the country
  • If necessary, a village Police force may also be maintained in addition to the police force

On the basis of this report a law was passed in 1881 on the lines of Madras Police Act. Thereafter, the Sudarshana Sena was reorganised and a new Police Department known as Royal Travancore Police (RTP), marking the foundations of modern Kerala Police, was started under the leadership of O.M.Bensly, the first Superintendent of Travancore Police. He held the post for thirty years and he is regarded as the Father of Modern Kerala Police. The re-organization, which started in 1881, was completed in 1882. At this time the force consisted of a superintendent, 2 assistant superintendents, 42 inspectors (in various grades), 8 sub inspectors, 160 head constables, 1890 constables. It shows the tremendous development of the department in modern times. The members of the force were enlisted from all classes with due regard to age and physical fitness and placed under the immediate control of the European superintendent, O. H. Bensely. As a result of the re- organization a complete separation of the Police and the Magistracy was effected and a clear line of demonstration was drawn between the judicial functions of the Magistrates and the preventive and detective duties of the Police. In 1939, significant changes were made in the General Executive Wing, Criminal Intelligence Wing, Reserve Force, Special Police, and Traffic Wing. The total strength of the police personnel in 1947 was 3626. N. Chandrasekharan Nair was appointed as Inspector General of Police and he took charge on 21 August 1948. He continued as Inspector General of Police even after the merger of Travancore and Cochin in 1952 and he was appointed as the first Inspector General of Police after the formation of the Kerala State in 1956.

Similar developments happened in Kingdom of Kochi with an independent police department was formed in 1883, under orders of Kochi Maharaja Rama Varma. George Gunther became the First Superintendent of Police of the Cochin State, which was known as Cochin State Royal Police (CSRP).

Whereas in Malabar, which was part of Madras Presidency of British India, the police force formed under Madras Police Act became responsible for internal law and order. The whole of Malabar was divided into North and South Malabar with headquarters at Tellicherry and Calicut for the smooth administration of the Police. As a precaution the best Police men were selected to form a separate unit. This unit was of great help in suppressing the riot of 1896. In 1906 it is estimated that Malabar Police had 188 officers and 1278 men in 106 Police Stations. In 1884 a special punitive force was organized. It was known as Malabar Special Police-1 in the beginning. The great eruption of Mappila rebellion forced the authority to create a strength of 600 constables in addition to the British and the Indian officers. The then South Malabar Police Superintendent Mr. Hitchcock organised a new Police force on the model of the British Army which came into existence on 30 September 1921 as Malabar Special Police-2. Hitchcock himself was the first Commandant of M.S.P. In 1932 the strength of the force was increased to 16 companies. Whenever law and order situation was threatened the British always rushed levies from outside to control the situation. The system continued like this till 1956 when the Kerala state was formed and the Malabar Special Police was divided into two parts, one going to Madras State and the other coming to Kerala.

The forces of Malabar, Cochin, Travancore merged on 1 November 1956 and was renamed as the Kerala State Police with its headquarters at Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital.[6]

Organizational structure[edit]

Kerala Police comes under direct control of Department of Home Affairs, Government of Kerala. The current minister for Home affairs is Ramesh Chennithala. The Police Department is headed by State Police Chief (SPC). K.S.Balasubramanian IPS is the present SPC of Kerala Police.

The law and order forms the major chunk of state force's personnel. For this, the state is divided into 2 zones, the North Zone and South Zone, each headed by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP). Each zones are divided into two ranges each with an Inspector General of Police heading each range. Kannur Range and Thrissur Range comes under North Zone, whereas Kochi Range and Trivandrum Range comes under South Zone. There are five commissariat for five cities of Kerala with City Police Commissioner (having a rank equal to Deputy inspector General of police only for Kochi City and Thiruvananthapuram City) taking the leadership. The five commissariats are located for Thiruvananthapuram City Police, Kochi City Police, Kozhikode City Police, Kollam City Police and Thrissur City Police.

A minibus belonging to Kerala Police

State police headquarters[edit]

Kerala Police maintains its headquarters at Police HQ Complex located in Vellayambalam, Thiruvananthapuram. 3 major complexes are located inside State Headquarters. The office of DGP is located in Vellayambalam Palace which was the main office of erstwhile Royal Travancore Police. The staff officers of DGP works in nearby Bank House. Most of other administration and specialized offices are located in newly constructed PHQ Towers, behind the palace. The important offices located in PHQ Towers are the NRI Cell, the SC/ST Special Cell, the Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell(HTCEC) and the Central Command Centre, apart from large number of regular ministerial staff.[citation needed]

Central police command center[edit]

Kerala Police is one of the few police forces in the world to have an integrated fully automated central police command center[7] to act as strategic nodal center for communicating and passing informations to various unit forces in times of natural or man-made emergencies. The command center is equipped with latest communication facilities like wireless, telephone, high speed email system, tracking and surveillance systems, video conferencing, and warning alert systems. The control room is equipped with global positioning systems, tetrabased messaging service and surveillance. In the first phase, 22 cameras were installed in Thiruvananthapuram city, 10 in Kochi city, and 8 in Kozhikode which is integrated to control room, where officials at the command center can continuously monitor ground happenings located in each city. 82 Police stations, which are computerized have direct web-cam access to this control room. Upon informations on any disaster, the command center can identify the nearest available police squad with help of GIS enabled vehicles and directly can command them to rush to the affected spot, without need of passing through local police station. 15,000 policemen are given GPS enabled blackberry mobiles and command center can directly issue commands to each individual police man over various issue

Branches[edit]

General Executive Branch[edit]

A police 4x4 drives through the monsoon

The Kerala Police has a general executive branch police wing consisting of general officers and constables related to law & order, attached to each local police stations in various towns and cities. General Executive Branch officers (Sub Inspectors) are directly recruited (though a fair number would be promoted over time from the ranks), gets trained at the Police academy, and gets posted to various police stations. They later pick up ranks to become Inspector, Deputy Superintendent or even a Superintendent based on the service records.

The lower post police unit is a Police Outpost generally under command of a Head Constable, or Assistant Sub Inspector. Above which comes a police station under command of a Sub Inspector (assisted by Additional Sub Inspectors if required). Two or more police stations forms a Police Circle, under an Inspector (generally called CI or Circle Inspector). More than one circle form up a Police Sub Division which would be commanded by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (designation is Assistant Superintendent of Police for IPS officers). Many sub-divisions form a police district under a District Police Chief, above which comes Police Ranges and Zones. The police officers from the central government service of Indian Police Service (IPS) generally command the higher echelons of the Police Force. Every inspector can ear-mark approximately 15 police constables within his jurisdiction to form the Crime Squad. They work in non-uniform clothes (or mufti), and would be on the look out for pick pocketing, prostitution, hoodlum activities, and drug trafficking etc.[citation needed]

Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID)[edit]

There is a Crime Branch wing, which basically deals with first degree crimes or sensational crimes which span across districts. The concept of the Crime Branch was conceived due to lack of professional expertise and huge work load among local police to investigate major first degree cases as well as those which requires special team to investigate due to social importance. The selection of the cases to be entrusted to the CB-CID is made generally by the DGP (or the CBCID itself), the state government or the High Court. Investigations by the CBCID are characterized by thorough and sustained investigation involving the latest scientific techniques. Officials are known as CID agents.

The Crime Branch CID, a specialist unit headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police and assisted by an IGP and two DIGs. It has got seven territorial and three other special units, each headed by a Superintendent of Police. On an average, the CBCID investigates about 450 cases per year.[citation needed]

Special Branch (Intelligence and Homeland Security)[edit]

The Special Branch CID, headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police and assisted by an IGP and two DIGs, has two divisions, namely Intelligence and Homeland Security.

  • The intelligence wing of Kerala Police deals with terrorism and anti-national activities.
  • The Homeland Security division is responsible for making security arrangement at strategic locations like Airports, Ports, border check-posts etc. Inspectors from HSGs are drawn by Bureau of Immigration for as passport control offices at airports and seaports. The main role of this force is providing private protection to VIPs and other protected persons. Homeland Security Guards (HSG) monitors and coordinates as security protocol in-charge, for the security arrangements with the district police units in Kerala when VIPs visit this state. It does the same thing with the police forces of other states when VIPs/protected persons from Kerala visit other states. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) comes under the Security Division. They have got five teams in the state and they are always ready to move at short notice.[citation needed]

The personnel of the Security Division and the BDDS have been specially trained in executive protection, anti-sabotage checking, and explosive detection and disposal. Special Branch and Crime branch officials donot wear regular police uniforms and move in plain clothes as part of their duty.

Central Police Canteen, Kollam City

State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB)[edit]

The State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB) is headed by an IGP (Inspector General of Police) who is assisted by a DIG[clarification needed] and three Superintendents of Police. There are five divisions of the SCRB.

  • Police Computer Center - responsible for computerization of the department and development of analytical software for special requirements of Kerala Police.
  • Police Telecommunications - responsible for maintaining the wireless network of the department. Presently their wireless communication is based on VHF, HF and satellite. The unit also maintains their dedicated Wide Area Network.
  • Criminal Intelligence Bureau - maintains and analyzes crime statistics in the state
  • Finger Print Bureau
  • Photographic Bureau

Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell[edit]

Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell is a formal set up relating to handling of cyber crime and other techno based crimes in Kerala Police. It consists of highly trained personnel who have been trained in cyber forensics by C-DAC. They are equipped with the state-of-the-art hardware and software to handle any kind of cyber crime. The HTCEC officials are trained to track and arrest criminals involving in cyber crimes like hacking, sending of pornographic mails, distorting social network sites, sending obscene SMS / mails, cyber cheating, cyber stalking etc.[8]

Armed Battalions and Riot Force[edit]

Armed Reserve Police Camp in Kollam city

The riot control wing of the State Police are predominantly manned my police men in the Armed Police Battalions. The riot control unit uses water dispensing unit called "VARUN" to disperse the rioters. They also uses grenades like tear gas shell, stinger grenade, dyemarker, smoke grenade etc. They uses batons made of fibre and cane. The Armed Police Battalions, is also where recruits undergo nine months basic training. In February 2011 the District Armed Reserve camps to which the men from Armed Reserve Battalions were posted was discontinued. This also put to a stop the earlier practise of an Armed Battalion Constant getting transferred to the Armed Reserve Unit and then serving there, the constable moving into a local police station . The constables after their mandatory tenure in the Armed Police battalions would now move into the "Civil Police" cadre. This change in the organisation ensured that a large number of police men at a younger age are available for regular law and order duties.

Forensic Science Laboratory[edit]

Kerala Police has a well-equipped Forensic Science Laboratory since 1961 at Thiruvananthapuram. The Forensic Science Laboratory consists of eight Divisions, namely, Ballistics, Biology, Serology, Chemistry, Explosives, Documents, Documents (Civil), and Physics. A Director is the Head of the FSL and he is assisted by two Joint Directors. Each Division has one Assistant Director and a Scientific Assistant. There are mobile FSL units in every district. Apart from this, a DNA Analysis Lab also operates for DNA testing and reporting for various crime investigation.

Specialized police teams[edit]

Watch and Ward[edit]

Kerala Police as per traditions do not enter into Niyamasabha in their uniforms. As a result, a separate force called Watch and Ward handles security and safety of Niyamasabha and all Members of Legislature Assembly (MLAs). 130 members are inducted into Watch and Ward, deputed from general police, which provides security for the Niyamasabha complex and ensures smooth functioning of the Assembly. The Speaker of the house with support of Niyamasabha secretariat. The Watch and Ward has powers to remove members of the house forcibly, upon orders of speaker in event of any major trouble or affecting regular business of house. Outsiders to enter into Niyamasabha also requires permission of Watch and Ward. The force also provides private security to Speaker and Secretary of House.

Kerala Highway Police[edit]

The Highway police squads are manned by the general executive branch, with police officers being taken on a shift basis from the police stations close to the highways. The mandate of the Highway Police is to ensure that the highways remain open and all materials which may cause traffic accidents are removed. They also have mandate to attend distress calls of any person while on highway and do rush for immediate assistance. They are also to prevent over-speeding by issuing speeding tickets. Along with this, Highway Police ensures a strong check on illicit transportation of contraband articles, smuggling of goods, stolen vehicles etc.

On July 2007, a new series of Highway Police vehicles were put on the streets by the Kerala Police. Forty two Chevrolet Tavera vehicles are now to patrol the highways of Kerala. Unlike the older Toyota Qualis vehicles these new vehicles are equipped with stretchers, reflective cones, more noticeable light bars and also speed radars.

Kerala Highway Police have a dedicated phone line number which can be used from anywhere in Kerala. This number is only used to pass on information for the Highway Police (and not to the general control room).

Coastal Police[edit]

After the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, India's government, along with various states located in coastal areas, have ensured in forming a specialized police force to deal security of the coasts and conduct patrolling in the sea up to 5 nautical miles (9.3 km). The cases reported on the sea (in the territorial waters) will be investigated by the Coastal Police. Currently Kerala Police maintains 8 Coastal Police Stations, located at Vizhinjam (Thiruvananthapuram District), Neendakara (Kollam District), Thottampally (Alapuzha District), Fort Kochi (Ernakulam District), Azhikkode (Thrissur District), Beypore (Kozhikode District), Azheekkal (Kannur District) and Thalangara (Kasargode District). The force maintains more than 30 high speed patrol boats, 8 major boats, and 2 heavy boats.

Tourist Police[edit]

Kerala, being a major tourist destination, has a dedicated Police team called as Tourist police. The primary mandate of Tourist police is to ensure safety and security of tourists visiting major tourist destinations and places of interest. Tourists can seek assistance of tourist police for any tourist related information, guidance and assistance related to any place of interest, operating hours, hotel booking, rail/road/air transport reservation assistance as well as providing dedicated security for tourists from miscreants and anti-socials. Kerala police also opened India's first dedicated Tourist Police station in Fort Kochi, as one-stop assistance and support center for tourists. This includes assistance and support for all travel related areas like immigration services, visa extensions as well as all information support for tourists. A dedicated toll-free hotline is maintained by Kerala Tourist police for 24x7 information and distress calls for dispatch of nearby flying squad.[citation needed]

NRK Assist Cell[edit]

As Kerala has one of the largest number of NRIs in the country, a dedicated NRK (Non-resident Keralite) support cell have been opened by Kerala police. The cell provides information support as well as handle cases involving NRKs, located outside Kerala. The cell also provides document verification support and certificate attestation required for foreign visa/emigration requirements. The cell also have dedicated team attached to major NORKA offices located inside and outside state for various services. A dedicated telephone number is provided for telephone support.

Mounted Police[edit]

This is one of the oldest regiments of the Kerala Police, originally tracked to its lineage to erstwhile Royal Travancore Police. The regiment is one of the few and last cavalry force with nearly 30 mounted officials. Originally formed as part of Sree Padmanabha's Elite Mounted Guards (SPEMG) for providing royal escorts during the temple festivals of the temple, which it serves even today, it was renamed the Kerala Mounted Police in 1966. The force is used only for ceremonial purposes, mainly for Travancore Royal Family's celebrations and functions as well as state events like Independence Day or Republic day parades.

Uniforms[edit]

As elsewhere in India, Kerala Police uses khaki as primary uniforms all its forces. All officers have 3 type of uniforms, namely, ceremonial uniforms used during state parades and ceremonies; working uniforms (for certain types of police forces) as part of their specialized work; and station uniforms which are required to be worn all other office times. Unlike in North India, Kerala police uses lighter khaki versions as its primary colour. The uniform of various type of police members are described as below;

Men[edit]

All male officers have to wear Khaki shirt and trousers as part of their uniforms.

General Executive Constables[edit]

For all policemen below the rank of Sub-Inspector are designated as part of Constabulary. The regular uniform of all male Civil Police Officers (Old Designation - constables) are plain light Khaki shirt with khaki trousers, Black belt with metallic buckle marked with KP Badge, black shoes and khaki socks. All Civil Police Officers have coded whistle lanyard and shoulder strips with KP badge marked. They have a black metal name badge, carries name and rank. All Civil Police Officers have dark blue cap with metal KP Badge in center. All Civil Police Officers have a yellow strip in the dark blue peak cap. Senior Civil Police Officers have three point-down chevrons on their sleeve or three bars on their epaulettes in white color. As part of their ceremonial wear, they wear a red band from left to right along with striped scarf.

General Executive Officers[edit]

For all officials above the Sub Inspector Rank have similar uniform. The regular uniform are light khaki shirt and khaki trousers with maroon belt and metallic buckle marked with Kerala Police Badge or IPS Badge. The officials have maroon shoes and khaki socks and have maroon lanyard with shoulder strips marked according to their rank badges. The name plate carries the name of the individual in English. All officers have peak caps in Khaki colour with maroon strip and KP metal badge. For IPS officials, they have different strips in the peak cap, as per IPS standards and ranks.

As part of ceremonial uniform, all officers have a khaki suit with maroon cross-belt and epaulettes marked as per their insignia. For officers above rank of an inspector have a personal ceremonial sword to be used while in parades.

Women[edit]

All women officers have to wear Khaki shirt and pants as part of their uniforms like their male counterparts.

General Executive Constables[edit]

For all policemen below the rank of Sub-Inspector are designated as part of Constabulary. The regular uniform of all lady constables are plain light Khaki shirt without inserting inside khaki pants, black belt with metallic buckle marked with KP Badge over the shirt, black shoes and khaki socks. All constables have coded whistle lanyard and shoulder strips with KP badge marked. They have a black metal name badge, however do not carry name, rather their employee code starting with PC XXX. All women constables have dark blue cap with yellow strips and metal KP Badge in center.

Women constables, who are pressed into non-station duties like social service, front office management of stations, offices related to police, those into lady prisoners escort, private security, intelligence and CID wing, have to wear a Khaki Saree and Khaki color blouse with striped shoulders. All lady jail wardens deputed from police, also wears the same attire.

General Executive Officers[edit]

For all officials above Sub Inspector Rank have similar uniform like their male counterparts.

Traffic police[edit]

All traffic police officers have a white shirt and khaki pants as their uniforms. For constables, they have blue belt with a metallic buckle carrying a KP badge, black shoes, and a black corded lanyard with whistle. For officers they have similar attire like General Executive wing with both a khaki shirt and pants.

All traffic police officers, irrespective of their ranks, have to wear orange reflector over-coat while on field duty which is their working dress. They have dark brown or khaki raincoats with white or green reflector strips as part of their working dress during raining days. All traffic officers have face masks and nostril caps to be worn to keep them away from road pollution. Traffic officers are also equipped with reflector hand-held cones and sticks as part of their field work.

For volunteers who work as traffic wardens, they wear similar attire to regular traffic officers, but have a blue band on their left arm with the Kerala police emblem and do not wear a KP badge.

Tourist Police[edit]

All tourist police members, irrespective of their ranks and designation wear a Khaki pants and light blue shirt as part of their uniform. Civil police officers of Tourist police have station uniforms as black belt with metallic KP Buckle, black shoes, Khaki socks and yellow lanyard. They have a wide label on their left side of the shirt(over the pocket) marked as TOURIST POLICE. They wear a navy blue colored peak cap. While in field duties. Every tourist police member carries a set of local maps, local information pamphlets, digital diaries and a baton.

For Officers, they have blue shirt and khaki pants, however have maroon belt with a KP metallic buckle. They wear a khaki colour peaked cap with a blue band and metallic cap badge.

The duty of Tourist police is local protection and provide assistance in the tourist area.

Highway Police[edit]

Highway police have similar attire to General Executive Wing, as they are drawn from that branch on deputation basis. However the key difference in uniforms are, they regularly wear a bright orange over-jacket which has white reflector and has a red triangle reflector design behind their over-jacket. All members of this force has a peak cap with a white reflector band around it. This is mainly because keep them visible in highways even at dim lighted roads in night.

In addition to every highway police men are equipped personally with pocket first aid kit, a wireless handset and blackberry mobiles. All officers also carries service revolvers and pistols. In times of turbulence or civil disturbances, armed guards are called into regular Highway patrol teams.

Tactical forces[edit]

All wings of armed police except commando and homeland security guards, wear regular executive wing attire as station uniforms. As part of working uniforms, they wear protective bulletproof armor and riot jackets which are normally in camouflage colors. The headgear which all armed police wear during working, is protective crash helmet with glass or steel mesh face cover which is normally of olive green color. State Rapid Action force wears a blue colour camouflage uniforms with a blue berets and KP badge.

For Commando units, they wear uniforms similar to Black Cats Commandos in full black commando dangri suits and a black cap with KP badge. They carry Trishul badge on their shoulders as mandatory for any Indian Commando unit. Kerala State Marines wears a camouflage uniform and a bowler crash helmet in camouflage colours. All their equipments are similar to regular commando units.

Homeland Security Guards(HSGs), being part of Special Branch, do not have any standard uniform. However they wear an attire similar to SPG Officials with a blue color safari suits and trousers. HSGs attached to Chief Minister's security wear black color safari suits and trousers. No HSGs officials carries any visible police badges or marks.

Thunderbolts Kerala is a newly raised elite commando unit of Kerala Police tasked to perform perilous counter-terrorism, jungle-warfare, and hostage-rescue operations.[9] New recruits have to complete an exhaustive 18-month Special Weapons and Tactics combat training course before induction into the unit.

Around 160 members are in the team, and their passing out parade planned for 24 August 2012. The force will be deployed at Thiruvanathapuram, Kochi and Malappuram. [10]

Battalions[edit]

Kerala Police have seven Armed Police battalions which are:

Ranks[edit]

Further information: List of police ranks in India

The ranks used in the Kerala Police are as follows

  • Director General of Police (DGP)
  • Additional Director General of Police (Addl.DGP)
  • Inspector General of Police (IGP)
  • Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
  • Commissioner of Police[Urban]/Superindentent of Police (SP)[Rural]
  • Additional commissioner of Police
  • Assistant Commissioner of Police/URBAN
  • Deputy Superindentent of Police (Dy.SP)/Additional Superindentent of Police(ASP)/RURAL
  • Inspector of Police (Circle Inspector or CI)
  • Sub-Inspector of Police (SI)
  • Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police (ASI)
  • Senior Civil Police Officer (Police Head Constable (HC) is now obsolete)
  • Civil Police Officer (Police Constable (PC) is now obsolete)

Note: A new rank of Assistant Sub Inspector (Grade) was introduced recently. This rank, however, is more of a nomenclature to be used in official records. As per the new government policy Head Constables who have 15 years of service gets automatically promoted to Assistant Sub Inspector. Since the pay scale of the Head Constables would be the same of the starting pay-scale for an ASI, no additional burden is levied on the state exchequer. The ASIs (Grade) will wear the same rank insignia as that of a normal ASI.

There was a plan to promote every ASI with a service of 25 years to a Sub-Inspector but this is yet to be implemented. As of today Sub-Inspector vacancies reserved for promotees gets filled up based on the seniority of the Assistant Sub-Inspectors in a police range.[citation needed]

Kerala Police Academy[edit]

Kerala Police Academy is at Ramavarmapuram in Thrissur City which began functioning in May 2004. Spread over an area of 348 acres (1.41 km2), the Academy is designed to have a capacity of training 1,950 trainees of various ranks (1,500 constables, 400 officers, and 50 women constables) at a time, which is one of the highest in India. Built at a cost of Rs.220 million, the academy has indoor training facility to train 1,200 people at a time, a main parade ground of 7.5 acres (30,000 m2) and a sports complex ground of 3.5 acres (14,000 m2). The academy has got a 300 yards (270 m) firing range. The MT school of the academy can train 300 drivers at a time. There is also a police dog training centre and kennel which can train 18 dogs at a time. The police academy now boasts of an Olympic Size Swimming Pool which is being used by the trainees as part of the training.

Honours and achievements[edit]

  • In 2008, Palakkad town south police station earned the award for the best police station in India and the second best in the south Asian region. According to the award committee of Altus Global Alliance of Netherlands, it had a score of 85 when the average score in Kerala was 65 and the national average score was 75.[11]
  • Kerala police had successfully solved Chelambra bank robbery case, considered to be one of the biggest bank theft in the state’s history. The robbers made a hole on the ground floor of the bank and got away with 80 kilograms of gold and Rs.2.5 million in the early hours of 30 December 2007. It was a challenging task for police as the robbers had left no clues and were given many calls to divert the track of the inquiry. However, the police have arrested four main culprits on 28 February 2008 and recovered 80% of the looted gold and cash.[12]
  • In February 2012, the Kerala police charged two Italian marines aboard the MV Enrica Lexie identified as Latorre Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone with murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code and arrested them for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen identified as Ajesh Binki (aged 25, Tamil Nadu) and Gelastine (aged 45, Kerala). The shooting resulted in a major diplomatic fallout between India and Italy. The Italian marines stated that they shot in self-defense after an attempted boarding. The Indian officials state that the fishermen were innocent and that the deaths could have been avoided if the Italians had exercised restraint.[13]

Issues[edit]

Lack of modern methods[edit]

The Kerala Police lacked of modern training, weapons, and up-to-date kind of investigation. Even for a robbery case, the police had to rely on outdated methods. The antiquated laws regulating the police should be replaced with modern methods. The state had also failed to raise a police force that reflected social realities. According to a senior police officer, the social audit and criticism by society were very crucial for the functioning the police as the police wielded broad power.[14]

Custodial deaths[edit]

According to the state human rights commission that custodial deaths is in a rising stage in Kerala also. Up to 30 June 2006, there are 25 such incidents registered, 39 in 2005, 49 in 2004, and 41 in 2003.[15][16]

Criticism[edit]

On 11 March 2008, the High Court of Kerala strongly criticized Kerala Police and expressed its displeasure at 'politicization' of police in Kannur district and observed that the only solution to bring an end to the political clashes was to deploy central forces.[17][18]

Insignia of Kerala Police (State Police)[edit]

Indian State Police Gazetted Officer Rank Insignia
Insignia SSP State Police.png SP State Police.png Assistant Superintendent of Police.png Deupty Superintendent of Police.png
Rank Deputy Commissioner of Police or Senior Superintendent of Police Deputy Commissioner of Police or Superintendent of Police Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police or Additional Superintendent of Police Assistant Commissioner of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police
Abbreviation DCP or SSP DCP or SP ADL.DCP or ASP ACP or DSP
  • Note: Gazetted officers belonging to Indian State Police Service(s) lie between ranks ACP/DSP and DCP/SSP.
    • To gain promotion to ADL.CP/DIG rank, officers undergo training and hence are awarded IPS.
Indian State Police Non-Gazetted Officer Rank Insignia
Insignia Police Inspector.png Assistant Police Inspector.png Police Sub-Inspector.png Police Assistant Sub-Inspector.png Police Head Constable.pngHead Constable.png Senior Police Constable.pngPolice Naik.png No Insignia¹
Rank Inspector of Police Assistant Inspector of Police2 Sub-Inspector of Police Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Police Head Constable3 Senior Police Constable3 Police Constable
Abbreviation INS API SI ASI HPC SPC PC
  • ¹ Police Constable has no insignia except the khaki uniform.
  • 2This rank only exists in Maharashtra and Mumbai Police Service[19][20]
  • 3Shoulder insignia for this rank is used by Maharashtra and Mumbai Police Service[19][20]
  • Note: Colour pattern and size of chevron may vary according to the different rules of several distinct Indian State Police Services.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "K S Balasubramanian appointed new DGP - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  2. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=_2r8cLTkmA8C&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=total+police+stations+kerala&source=bl&ots=iZCisPbSBL&sig=7t3Tbo3XBMs7P4DUfMee15uH4JI&hl=en&ei=ItuYTPv9H4iCvgOOxdXeDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CDEQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=total%20police%20stations%20kerala&f=false
  3. ^ Official website of Kerala Police
  4. ^ Official website of Kerala Police
  5. ^ 'Punjab, Delhi are best performing states': LATEST HEADLINES : India Today
  6. ^ "Police in Travancore – Cochin". Retrieved 13 Aug 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.kerala.gov.in/keralacal_june09/pg08-11.pdf
  8. ^ "Hi-Tech Crime Enquiry Cell". Retrieved 14 Aug 2012. 
  9. ^ Anand, G. (14 August 2012). "Sleeping with their weapons primed". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 14 Aug 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/malayalamContentView.do?channelId=-1073751706&programId=1073753760&contentId=12210915&BV_ID=@@@tabId=11
  11. ^ "Palakkad Town South police station gets honours". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 4 February 2008. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Police leave a mark in crime detection". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 29 February 2008. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "BBC News: India police open murder case against Italian ship crew". BBC. 17 February 2012. 
  14. ^ "Custodial death a setback for police: DIG". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 23 November 2005. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. 
  15. ^ "Indian Human right report 2007". ACHR. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. 
  16. ^ "Police seminar on custodial deaths". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 23 August 2006. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. 
  17. ^ "In Kannur, manslaughter a competing sport: HC". The Times of India. 12 March 2008. 
  18. ^ "High Court has no confidence in Kodiyeri Police". The Economic Times. 12 March 2008. Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. 
  19. ^ a b http://www.mahapolice.gov.in/mahapolice/jsp/temp/html/policerank.pdf
  20. ^ a b https://mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in/hierarchy.asp

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]