Delhi Police Ensures Safety of Women as a PriorityBy
The Nirbhaya rape case of December 16, 2012, which brought shame to India, especially to Delhi, shook the Delhi Police into action. The Delhi Police was heavily criticised for not doing enough for the safety of women in the city. This led to a lot of thinking and soul searching by the top officials and since then the police in Delhi has ensured the safety of women in the city as its top priority.
Changes adopted by Delhi Police
A number of new measures have been introduced by the Delhi police such as increasing the number of police helpline numbers. Earlier, there was just one police helpline number – 100, but now the there are helpline numbers from 60 to 100. The number of women-specific helpline numbers has also been increased from 4 to 10, starting with 1091.
The Delhi Police has identified 325 vulnerable areas in the city that require constant patrolling. Steps have been taken to boost the security in these areas such as installing CCTV cameras in appropriate locations.
CCTV cameras by Delhi Police
- CCTV cameras have also been installed in DTC buses and it has been made mandatory for all public transport vehicles to have GPS installation. At least 200 buses have been already fitted with CCTV cameras, eventually all buses in Delhi will be fitted with the same.
- Civic agencies have been ordered to install CCTV cameras in all areas that fall under their jurisdiction. Measures are being taken to ensure that crime against women is reported as quickly as possible and no incident goes unreported.
New system ensuring safety of women by Delhi police
The police in Delhi are coming up with a new system to enable women travelling in cabs or autorickshaws to share pictures of the registration number plate on a police server. This is to ensure that the driver of the vehicle does not get any wrong ideas and in case of any wrongdoing, the driver would know that his vehicle would be traced immediately by the Delhi police.
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi explained how this system would work: “We can set up such a system where a woman before boarding an auto or cab can click a picture of its registration number plate on her phone and send it to us. The photo can be deleted from the system after 72 hours if no complaint about the journey is made.”
This is based on the belief that if the driver of the auto or cab knows that a photograph of his vehicle is sent to the police, he is likely to become more responsible and issues such as misbehaving with women or overcharging does not happen. There are many complaints made by women in Delhi about how drivers start abusing using the foulest of language at the slightest pretext.
Pick-up and drop for women employees
The Delhi Police has also extended an order that makes it mandatory for all BPOs, companies and media houses to arrange pickup and drop for their women employees, especially during night hours and to confirm their safe arrival. Night hours defines between 8:00 PM IST to 7:00 AM IST. All cabs are fitted with GPS technology so that the authorities know where they are located during any time of the day.
A security guard will be seated in the same vehicle with the women employees and ensure their safe arrival. This was in response to a recent case in which Shiv Kumar Yadav, an Uber driver raped a 27-year old executive in his taxi when she hired him while returning home from her office, late at night.
The Delhi police has asked all corporate offices to maintain a database of all employees, cab drivers, security personnel and contractual workers, so that they can be reached whenever needed. The police have suggested hiring contractual workers only from licensed agencies.
New mobile app by Delhi Police
The Delhi Police has introduced a new mobile app, called “Himmat”, available for both iOS and Android, which is aimed to make women feel safer while travelling in Delhi. This app allows a woman user to raise an SOS alert by simply shaking the phone or by using a special button on it.
The alert would then go to her family members as well as to the police control room. As soon as she raises the alert, her location (through GPS), video and audio of the last 30 seconds are accessed by the police and a team is dispatched to her rescue immediately.