With a significant increase in the total number of rape and molestation cases in 2012 compared to the previous year, the annual Press conference of the Delhi Police revolved round last month’s brutal gang rape-cum-murder and the larger issue of crimes against women.

Describing the incident as a “watershed moment in the criminal justice system of India”, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said there was a need for immediate action and gender sensitisation in all such cases.

At the press conference, which started by observing few moments of silence for the now deceased victim of the gang-rape case, Mr. Kumar earmarked safety of women as one of the topmost priorities of his force in the coming year.

Among the several measures announced by the police in this regard was making women help Desks operational round-the-clock with some telephone lines having only incoming facilities to keep them free for distress calls from women.

Promising tighter vigilance and better crackdown on eve teasing in the coming days, the Police Commissioner said the total number of women and child helpline have been increased from four to 10 and that particulars of women complainants giving confidential information would not be revealed.

According to statistics, the 24 X 7 helpline for women received 563 calls where as the Anti-Obscene Calls Cell and Anti-Stalking Cell received a whopping 22,400 calls in the previous year.

Expressing concern over the tutoring of women complainants that often leads to the victims either dragging their feet or abandoning their quest for justice, Mr. Kumar said that complaints from women would be recorded verbatim in the coming days.

“Special Commissioner of Police Sudhir Yadav has been appointed as a nodal officer for monitoring complaints by women,” he added.

The Police Commissioner said a proposal to recruit 418 women sub-inspectors and 2,088 women constables has been approved by the Union Home Ministry and was waiting for a nod from the Ministry of Finance.

Emphasising on engaging all stakeholders as far as women safety was concerned Mr. Kumar said that thana level committees reconstituted to include women NGOs, principals of schools and colleges, would meet every fortnight.

“Local police and PCR vans are being deployed outside girls’ schools and colleges at closing and opening time. We have identified 255 routes taken by families and women returning from entertainment hubs at night identified where assets have been redeployed to ensure safety,” he said while charting out measures to curb the menace in public spheres.

The police have also recommended that all Delhi Transport Corporation and cluster buses should install GPS and for the crew to display photo identity cards for better security in public vehicles.

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