Police station ‘by women, for women’

  • Inauguration in Haryana on Raksha Bandhan

Lata Jain

On the eve of Raksha Bandhan, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated all-women police station in all 21 district of the state at Mansa Devi complex. The state witnessed the inauguration of all women police station to address the 9000 odd crime related to women. There would be very few male to support the police stations, but all key operational decisions will be entirely taken by rank-and-file women police officials. This concept has brought Haryana on the world map, he said.

lata jain

Lata Jain

According to Gurgaon police commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk, a two storied building in sector 51, is being converted into a “one-stop shop” police station for women. This was a traffic police station till date.

Haryana is among the worst gender ratios in India The state seem to be trying to improve the women-friendliness in the state with an all-women police station in the district.

Haryana, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, has in fact recorded 8,974 cases of crimes against women, including 3,501 cases of dowry harassment, 1,174 rapes cases and 230 cases gang rapes.

According to home ministry statistics, out of 15,85,117 personnel working in state police forces, only 84,479 or just 5.33% are women. Besides, there are just 499 all-women police stations in the country out of a total 15,000 stations. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Chandigarh have a relatively better representation of women in the police. In 1997, the authorities in Tamil Nadu took advantage of the labor legislation to ensure that 33 per cent of the new police recruits were women. Female police officers comprise 29 per cent of the force in South Africa, 14 per cent in the United States of America, almost 30 per cent in Australia and 18 per cent in Canada. If one draws comparison in India the number of women police is meager.

International research has exploded the myth that women are unsuitable for police jobs. Women officers use less physical force are better in defusing violent confrontations with the public and are less involved in the use of excessive force. They also possess better communication skills than their male counterparts and are better able to elicit the public’s cooperation and trust.

Another benefit of having female police officers is that they respond more effectively to violence against women. In some respects, women are better suited to police work than men. It is estimated that 80 per cent of policing involves non-criminal or service functions. In India, many of the Para-military forces are now inducting female personnel.

At present, women police officers are kept away from core police functions and are given inconsequential jobs. Instead of confining their roles to soft desk jobs and investigation of cases of dowry death, rape and harassment only, women police officers could be assigned other important general duties. It has been found that women officers in charge of districts, subdivisions and zones have acquitted themselves very creditably.

Director General of Haryana Police, Yash Pal Singhal in a statement to the press said, each of the 21 police stations has been fully trained and legally empowered to exercise powers. Each police station will have a minimum strength of 38 to 40 woman cops, including a station house officer (SHO) of the inspector rank, two sub-inspectors, three assistant sub-inspectors, four head constables and 20 constables, besides supporting staff of 8 to 10 selected male police officials for assistance of the SHO for conducting raids and producing accused in the courts.

The Haryana women police stations will have a mediation center to take up cases related to matrimonial disputes.

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