Over five lakh posts are vacant in police forces in various States, Government told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

“The sanctioned strength of the total police force as on January 1, 2011 is 20,64,370 and the actual strength is 15,63,301 with a vacancy of 5,02,420,” Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said.

He said at present there are 131 policemen per one lakh population, against 173 policemen per lakh population, which is the norm prescribed by the Bureau of Police Research and Development.