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Functions, Roles and Duties of Police in General


1. 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.

Role, Functions and Duties of the Police in General

2. The role and functions of the police in general are:

(a) to uphold and enforce the law impartially, and to protect life, liberty, property,

human rights, and dignity of the members of the public;

(b) to promote and preserve public order;

(c) to protect internal security, to prevent and control terrorist activities, breaches

of communal harmony, militant activities and other situations affecting

Internal Security;

(d) to protect public properties including roads, railways, bridges, vital

installations and establishments etc. against acts of vandalism, violence or any

kind of attack;

(e) to prevent crimes, and reduce the opportunities for the commission of crimes

through their own preventive action and measures as well as by aiding and

cooperating with other relevant agencies in implementing due measures for 2

prevention of crimes;

(f) to accurately register all complaints brought to them by a complainant or his

representative, in person or received by post, e-mail or other means, and take

prompt follow-up action thereon, after duly acknowledging the receipt of the


(g) to register and investigate all cognizable offences coming to their notice

through such complaints or otherwise, duly supplying a copy of the First

Information Report to the complainant, and where appropriate, to apprehend

offenders, and extend requisite assistance in the prosecution of offenders;

(h) to create and maintain a feeling of security in the community, and as far as

possible prevent conflicts and promote amity;

(i) to provide, as first responders, all possible help to people in situations arising

out of natural or man-made disasters, and to provide active assistance to other

agencies in relief and rehabilitation measures;

(j) to aid individual, who are in danger of physical harm to their person or

property, and to provide necessary help and afford relief to people in distress


(k) to facilitate orderly movement of people and vehicles, and to control and

regulate traffic on roads and highways;

(l) to collect intelligence relating to matters affecting public peace, and all kind of

crimes including social offences, communalism, extremism, terrorism and

other matters relating to national security, and disseminate the same to all

concerned agencies, besides acting, as appropriate on it themselves.

(m) To take charge, as a police officer on duty, of all unclaimed property and take

action for their safe custody and disposal in accordance with the procedure


(n) To train, motivate and ensure welfare of police personnel

Social Responsibilities of the Police

3. Every police officer shall:

(a) behave with the members of the public with due courtesy and decorum,

particularly so in dealing with senior citizens, women, and children;

Sec (57), Model Police Act 2006 3

(b) guide and assist members of the public, particularly senior citizen, women,

children, the poor and indigent and the physically or mentally challenged

individuals, who are found in helpless condition on the streets or other public

places or otherwise need help and protection;

(c) provide all requisite assistance to victims of crime and of road accidents, and

in particular ensure that they are given prompt medical aid, irrespective of

medico-legal formalities, and facilities their compensation and other legal


(d) ensure that in all situations, especially during conflict between communities,

classes, castes and political groups, the conduct of the police is always

governed by the principles of impartiality and human rights norms, with

special attention to protection of weaker sections including minorities;

(e) prevent harassment of women and children in public places and public

transport, including stalking, making objectionable gestures, signs, remarks or

harassment caused in any way;

(f) render all requisite assistance to the members of the public, particularly

women, children, and the poor and indigent persons, against criminal

exploitation by any person or organised group; and

(g) arrange for legally permissible sustenance and shelter to every person in

custody and making known to all such persons provisions of legal aid

schemes available from the Government and also inform the authorities

concerned in this regard.

(h) preserve, promote and protect human rights and interests of weaker sections,

backward classes, poor, weak and the downtrodden.

Maintenance of Essential Services

4. When the State Government declares any specified service to be an essential

service to the community, it shall be the duty of the police to maintain the essential

services and every police officer must obey any order given by any officer superior to

him in connection with the service specified in the declaration by the government.

Sec (58), Model Police Act 2006

Sec (58), Model Police Act 2006 4

Senior Police Officer Performing Duties of a Subordinate Officer

5. 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


The Inventory of Police Duties, Functions & Jobs

6. 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


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

1. Investigation related duties and jobs

This would include police functions like:

(a) crime registration

(b) guarding, protecting visit to the scene of crime

(c) lifting, handling and packing of exhibits and sending them to various

places like the PS, SP office, FSL and other places calling witnesses

and serving notices to them

Sec (60), Model Police Act 2006 5

(d) calling witnesses and serving notices to them

(e) arresting criminals and suspects

(f) search and seizure proceedings during an investigation

(g) interrogation of suspects, witnesses and criminals

(h) collection and recording of various types of evidences i.e. oral,

documentary and expert opinion etc.

(i) taking criminals to courts for police/judicial custody and trial

(j) raids for various purposes.

2. 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

3. 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.

4. Order maintenance and security jobs

This profile would include among other things the following tasks:

a) surveillance, watch and action to be taken during peaceful

processions, demonstrations and strikes of various types 6

b) action to be taken on agitating and unruly mobs. This would

include pushing off agitators, stopping them with improvised

barricades and effective intervention to contain mobs under

the instructions of senior officers and the use of force

whenever needed

c) protection of vital installations during the spate of crimes and

emergencies of various types

d) VIP security and performance of various duties during VIP

visits in different capacities.

5. Enforcement of Social Legislation, Minor, Major and Special Acts

Performance of this role would require the police:

a) to know the significance and importance of various social legislations like

Child Marriage Restraint Act, Protection of Civil Rights Act, anti-dowry,

guest-control and other social legislations which provide a positive and

adequate push to social change in a development-oriented society like India.

The role of a constable in the implementation of these acts has to be an

integral part of the job profile of the constabulary.

b) to know the significance and importance of various local, special and minor

acts along with the role of constabulary in the effective execution of the

various provisions thereof.

6. 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. 7

7. Democratic and election related duties

In order to perform their role adequately the police must know:

a) importance of elections

b) types of elections

c) the role of police in ensuring the conduct of free, fair and

impartial elections

d) various duties of a constable during different types of


8. Natural calamities, Disaster and emergency duties

Various jobs like saving life and property, providing shelter, rehabilitation, evacuation

of people from crisis situations and their transportation during:

a) fires

b) floods

c) famines

d) the spread of an epidemic

e) the breakout of war or external aggression

f) internal disorders like communal riots, struggle between

various classes, castes and sects and other clashes

9. 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

10. PRO duties

Police are the most visible and effective PROs of the police department. They should

thereof understand

a) the importance of PCR and its present state in the area of

their operations and functions and

b) the role of constables in improving PCR and police image 8

11. 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.

12. 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


e) contribution of constables during anti-dacoity operations,

raids, emergencies, rounding up of and controlling of goonda

and anti-social elements

Conflict Resolution Contexts of Police Role

7. Confronting, facing and handling of conflicting situations of various sorts happen

to be an integral part of police role performance and police working. Police have to

face numerous situations, where the contending parties on various issues, put up

conditions before them, which in some way or the other, obtain the shape of conflicts.

In most cases which the police handle, whether during investigations or maintenance

of order, there are often two or more contending individuals, parties and issues which

are expected to be resolved by police. Conflict resolution, thus, becomes an essential

part of overall police functioning. Needless to say that policemen will be able to 9

discharge their various duties and functions better, if they obtain good understanding

of the philosophy, principles and tenets of conflict resolution and conflict


Общая информация

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