And some good news for all Delhiites- starting next week, five Police Control Room (PCR) vans managed totally by women will be posted at various points in the city. These vehicles will consist of three women personnel, including a commando, who will attend the distress calls in their jurisdiction.
Following Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma’s recent directions to form a PCR van unit fully managed by women, Special Commissioner of Police Sanjay Beniwal, who is the head of PCR unit, has come up with five such PCR vans. The unit will be flagged off by next week and will be seen on city roads, particularly in Lutyens’ Delhi.
The women PCR personnel, who were selected a month back from a batch of 160, have undergone an extensive training programme at the PCR training school in north Delhi’s Model Town. “All the 160 women have completed 60 periods of driving lessons. Each period comprises two hours of driving classes,” said a senior Delhi police officer posted at the PCR unit. Apart from driving, the women PCR personnel are also trained to handle and operate different types of firearms.
It is extremely sad that as many as 9,898 cases of crime against women — 1,397 rape incidents and 2,725 cases of molestation — have been reported till August 15. As per data released by National Crime Records Bureau for 2015, Delhi registered 1,893 rape cases in 2015, or more than five per day. As many as 39 attempted rapes were reported in 2015 in Delhi, the highest number among mega cities. Delhi Police officers said that with woman personnel in PCR vans, girls and women will now approach them without hesitation.
While these PCR vans can be a great step in this direction, we need to also work towards a gender sensitive and gender just police force. We have in the past done various gender sensitization trainings with different departments of the police (You can read about these trainings: 1, 2, 3, 4). We feel that gender sensitivity needs to be inculcated well within the police force, so as to ensure that women feel comfortable in the process of reporting crimes against them, without fear of judgement.
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