“It is our duty to protect children who are in conflict with law or have been victims, and we should follow the right procedure since any small mistake can adversely affect them,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Samant Rohan Rajendra said here on Tuesday.

He was addressing 80 police personnel at the inaugural of a capacity-building training programme under Integrated Child Protection Scheme, organised by District Child Protection Unit (DCPU).

Mr. Rajendra said if a child was a victim, it should be interrogated only at its house by plain-clothes policemen. “We should ensure that the child feels comfortable and when the victim is a girl, a female officer should be present,” he said.

He also instructed the police personnel to train their colleagues through half-an-hour sessions every Saturday in handling juvenile offenders and victims.

Officials from the DCPU said the need to sensitise all stakeholders involved with the protection of children was the need of the hour.

A manual for police personnel on Juvenile Justice System and Integrated Child Protection Scheme, brought out by the Department of Social Defence, was released by Collector L. Subramanian on the occasion.

In his address, Mr. Subramanian said in the wake of the Pollachi incident, wherein two girls were abducted from a children’s home and sexually assaulted, the district administration was cracking the whip on unregistered children’s homes. “Madurai is one among the few districts to have a Child Home Inspection Committee,” he added.

M. Rajarajan, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarters), was also present.

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