DG-IGP sees need for introspection within the force

Policemen and women on Wednesday discussed safety and security of women at panel discussions and dedicated sessions here.

Officials leading the police force in the State, and activists from non-governmental organisations also participated.

Crimes on women in Bangalore city have marginally increased in 2012, from 10,529 to 10,789. Bangalore city and Bangalore district ranked second and third under missing women cases. This has become a problem in areas around Bangalore, said A.M. Prasad, Additional Director-General of Police.

He added that the police was focussing on deploying information technology to coordinate among districts and trace missing women or many cases of unidentified bodies that need to be tracked and investigated better.

Bangalore in the last year had five gang-rape cases, the police said. Senior police officials reflected on the need to improve the quality of investigation to be able to improve the conviction rate.

L.R. Pachau, Director-General and Inspector-General of Police, said that there is a “need for introspection within the police force” on the issue of women’s safety. He said: “Many cases go unreported and investigation goes haywire as it gets stuck at the forensics level and the chargesheet is delayed. We need to find ways to push conviction rates up,” he said.

Mr. Pachau said that there is a need for women’s cells in every district and that the numbers of women in the force needs to be raised from around 4 to 20 per cent.

Governor’s offer

Speaking during the inaugural, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj said that the State should start a special cell focussed on tackling the issue of women’s security.

“We need to reform existing systems to meet this challenge,” he said.

Mr. Bhardwaj offered himself, and his personnel, for a night patrol to ensure security of women.

“If I am allowed, I would be glad to start today,” the Governor said.

Donna Fernandes, women’s rights activist from Vimochana, said that despite many years of gender sensitisation programmes there appeared to be little change in the police system.

“Even now filing an FIR is a challenge,” she said.

“We need a focussed way to improving the system. There needs to be dialogue on this,” she added.

C. Manjula, chairperson of Karnataka State Women's Commission, said that instead of opening women’s-only police stations, the number of women staff in each police station should be increased.

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