Counselling centre for Kerala Police to open in January

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 20 (IANS) To tackle suicides, crime and addiction among Kerala Police personnel, an in-house counselling centre will be opened for them in January, a top police official said.

The need for such an in-house facility was felt after it was found that a good number of Kerala Police (KP) personnel suffer from mental pressure. Around nine to 10 police personnel commit suicide every year, 28 per cent have criminal cases filed against them and 35 per cent are addicted to smoking and alcohol.

Director General of Police Loknath Behra said in a statement here on Tuesday that the need for such a centre has arisen after it was found that KP personnel were under stress and the best way to tackle the problem was to have a counselling centre.

“The centre, named HATS — Help and Assistance to Tackle Stress, will be set up in Thiruvananthapuram. A committee headed by Additional Director General of Police R. Sreelekha will see that it is functional from January 1, next year,” said Behra.

Rated as among the country’s best, the 54,000-strong Kerala Police is overworked with studies showing that there is a shortage of around 20,000 policemen. But with the state facing acute financial shortage, the need to increase the force numbers remains only on paper.