For women’s safety, new city police chief announces a slew of measures

India on 20 February 2014
Location : Mumbai | Source : Indian Express. Image Source: Indian Express

Women victims of sexual abuse will be able to give their statements to a female police officer sent to their residence, Quick Redressal Desks to cater to women and the elderly will be set up at each police station, and missing person’s complaints for women and children can now be lodged at any police station irrespective of jurisdiction, newly appointed Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said Wednesday.

The three initiatives will be rolled out in a couple of days, with manpower and infrastructure being set aside at police stations for them, Maria said.

During a five-hour meeting with all senior officers of the Mumbai Police on Tuesday, the city police chief issued a slew of instructions aimed at “going back to the basics” of policing, and towards gender sensitisation of the force.

Officers have also been directed to crack down on eve-teasers, chain-snatchers and drug peddlers in special drives.

“In cases of sexual abuse, we are examining the possibility where the victim can call the 103 helpline and a female officer can be dispatched to her house. Her statement can be recorded there, and the investigation can then be taken to the police station,” said Maria.

Quick Redressal Desks are also being set up at every police station to deal exclusively with complaints from women and senior citizens. Maria said the inspector on duty would personally deal with their complaints.

The new CP has also issued instructions that any missing person’s complaint of a woman or child can be lodged at any police station in the city, irrespective of jurisdiction. “It is that police station’s responsibility to take the complaint and redirect it to the concerned police station,” said Maria.

“In areas near schools, colleges, approach roads to railway stations, temples and shopping areas, there will be exclusive woman protection patrolling during a limited time, depending on the density of the crowd in the area. Vehicles manned by male and female personnel will patrol the area during this time. Police stations have also been told to identify areas where women and senior citizens go for morning and evening walks, and ensure visible police presence at these locations,” said Maria.

Maria has issued instructions to the Anti-Narcotics Cell to go after peddlers all over the city, especially those operating near schools and colleges. The ANC has also been instructed to tie up with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to deal with the problem of people abusing prescription drugs.

Street crime was another priority discussed at Tuesday’s meeting. “Police stations and crime branch units also have to make a list of top 10 criminals in their jurisdictions that they will be going after. We have also thought of improving the night rounds to attend to burglaries and motor vehicle thefts,” Maria said.

Other instructions include strengthening the Anti-Terror Cells of each police station for proper coordination between them and the state Anti-Terrorism Squad, proper selection of detection staff in police station and a strict attitude towards indiscipline.

“At the same time, good work will not be ignored. There will be great value placed on intelligence gathering, and officers with a strong informant network. I have asked officers to depend less on technical intelligence, and more on human intelligence,” said Maria.

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