Need for an effective tourist police

Source– The post is based on the article “Need for an effective tourist police” published in The Hindu on 8th December 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors

Relevance– Issues related to tourism sector

News– The article explains the issue of tourist safety in India.

A few days ago, a Kerala session court sentenced two men to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of a Latvian tourist in 2018. In another case, a 12-year-old Russian girl was raped in a hotel in Goa this year.

What are the statistics related to crime against tourism?

As many as 29 foreigners were murdered in the last three years. While 14 foreigners fell victim to rape last year, 16 were raped in 2020 and 12 in 2019. As many as 15 cases of assault to outraging modesty of foreign women were registered last year across the country, apart from 14 complaints of cheating.

Why is the safety of tourists important?

Crime against foreigners dents our image globally. It could also adversely affect the inflow of foreign tourists, which is a vital source of income for our country. India’s earnings through tourism was $30.06 billion in 2019.

There are predictions of about 13.34 million foreign tourists arriving by 2024. It calls for upgrading our security systems specially to provide a flawless security blanket cover to foreign tourists.

What is the concept of tourist police?

This concept has not been given the kind of attention it deserves. The States that have tourist police are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala.

The BPRD has brought out a booklet on the tourist police scheme detailing the mode of setting up of tourist police stations and control rooms, outposts, uniforms, recruitment, qualifications, training and logistics requirements for tourist police stations.

As many as 25 popular tourist spots have been identified in the country where the tourist police necessarily need to be deployed to help foreigners.

As an incentive, a 30% deputation allowance has been recommended for the police personnel who join the tourist police on deputation.

What is the way forward for tourist security?

Much needs to be done to instil a sense of security in them even before they leave their countries for India. All criminals in and around tourist spots need to be identified and kept under constant surveillance.

Fast track courts should be set up immediately to try cases of crime against foreigners and the culprits punished speedily.

Such speedy disposal of cases of crime against foreigners can be replicated if we have the will.

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