The Mumbai police will set up a special helpline dedicated to victims of sexual assault and abuse. If the victim calls helpline number 103, a woman police officer will go to her house and record the complaint, the city’s new police commissioner Rakesh Maria announced on Wednesday.
“Victims feel uncomfortable to come to the police station in cases of sexual assault. Now their complaint will be recorded in their homes in the presence of their family members,” Mr Maria said while announcing a slew of measures to boost the security of women in the city.
The police are also planning to improve night patrolling and set up mobile patrol vans near girls’ schools and colleges. “The vans will also patrol approach roads to railway stations, temples and shopping areas’. The vans will be exclusively dedicated to women’s security,” Mr Maria said.
In a bid to crack down on criminals, Mr Maria also said that all police stations and the city crime branch will put up a list of the Top Ten Criminals in their area and make a concerted effort to go after them.
“We have decided to go back to the basics when it comes to policing. We hope to boost the street presence of the police through the day,” Mr Maria announced. Patrolling will be boosted in areas frequented by senior citizens. Drug peddlers will also be targeted, especially those near schools and colleges.
Mr Maria also announced that Missing Persons complaints can now be registered at any police station. It will be the responsibility of the police to ensure that it is transferred to the right police station,” he said. The police have been instructed to avoid burking, or not registering crimes to bring down crime rates. “No one will be questioned about why crime has increased. We will be focusing on why crimes have not been solved,” he said.
In an attempt to boost intelligence gathering, anti-terror cells will be set up at police stations. “These cells will work in tandem with the anti-terror squad so we can get tap a wider network of information,” Mr Maria said.
Raj Thackeray meets Maria
Meanwhile the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray called on Mr Maria for around half an hour in the morning. “It was a courtesy call. He usually calls on the police commissioner,”Mr Maria told reporters. Mr Thackeray faces several criminal cases including three cases that were lodged three weeks ago during the party’s violent anti-toll agitation.