Government nod for proposal to appoint women SHOs

Opening a new chapter in policing in the State, all-women police stations with women Station House Officers (SHOs) to deal with all issues, including law and order and crime investigation, will begin functioning in six districts on March 6.

This was announced by State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramanian in response to queries at a two-day national seminar on ‘Empowering women cop,’ organised by the Kerala Police, that began here on Friday.

The State Police Chief was asked to give the reply to the question that was posed to retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi during a Q&A session after the keynote address. “Though the State had set up the first women police station in the country in Kozhikode in 1973, we could not go forward. We are trying to rectify it for the last one-and-a-half years,” he said. The State Police Chief told women civil police officers who participated in the workshop that within two months “we will have more. The process to recruit women sub-inspectors in the executive cadre has got the government’s nod.”

The districts identified for setting up all-women police stations with women SHO are Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thrissur, Malappuram, and Kannur.

Face of the police

In her address, Ms. Bedi said the country needed honest, courageous, and sensitive women police officers. “When a woman police officer becomes rude, it hurts society. You are the visible face of the police. You are the protectors of society and the country, and should act with wisdom,” she told them.

Pointing out that women police officers should not be afraid to say and write things that are correct, Ms. Bedi urged them to be proud of the uniform they were wearing and not to hide behind it. She also advocated a “7-P model” on integrating women in policing. “Women cops have a challenging task balancing office and family affairs. Intelligent planning should be made to maintain harmony between the tasks.” She urged the department to provide necessary facilities to women officers, including transportation and food facilities and creches for the children of the staff.

Increase strength

Earlier, inaugurating the seminar, Minister for Tribal Affairs P.K. Jayalakshmi said women representation in the State police force should go up from the present 5.6 per cent in the wake of increasing incidents of crimes against women and children. Mayor K. Chandrika, cine actor Parvathi Omanakuttan, and ADGP, South Zone, A. Hemachandran offered felicitations.

Around 175 women participants from the constabulary level to the SHO are attending the meet, which has representation from 19 States. The former DGP P.M. Nair, DGP (Prisons) T.P. Senkumar, ADGP B. Sandhya, social activist Sunitha Krishnan and Bhuwan Ribhu led the sessions.

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