Underlining that constabulary remains the backbone of the police, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said they should be better trained and inculcated with the right attitude towards the public.
"The constabulary is the mainstay of our police forces, constituting 87 per cent of the total strength. Improving the image of the constabulary is, therefore, critical to building public trust in the police," Dr Singh said in his speech at the three-day directors general and inspectors general conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau.
He said a constable's job is arduous and hazardous.
"Many of them find it difficult to get a suitable accommodation and are even forced to live in slum areas. All our police stations do not provide basic facilities for women constables. It is not realistic to expect high levels of efficiency unless proper attention is paid to the living and working conditions of our men and women," the prime minister said.
Dr Singh said police personnel must also be "adequately trained to upgrade their professional skills and inculcate the right attitude towards the public. Promotions could be linked with training as is done in the Army."
Highlighting their role in the present security scenario, the prime minister said human intelligence capabilities need to be improved.
"The grassroots information and intelligence collection systems that have traditionally been a part of policing have languished or fallen into disuse in some places," he said.
"The role of a vigilant and effective beat constable can be vital in checking the activities of networks, which otherwise operate under the radar. Some reorientation in the functioning at these cutting edge levels is necessary and the role of community policing should be emphasised," he said.