Reception counters and Vanitha desks at police stations will be made a single unit, writes Biju Govind

Reception counters at police stations will soon be given a facelift to streamline their functioning. The existing reception counters and Vanitha desks will be merged and manned exclusively by women constables from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All 17 police stations in the city, including the traffic station, have a separate reception counter and Vanitha desk. Some police stations do not have a proper reception counter. The new system will bring uniformity in the functioning of reception counters at all stations, a senior officer said.

Two registers

He said the women constables at the reception and Vanitha desk would maintain two registers — one to register the visit of male petitioners/complainants/visitors/ witnesses and the second for visit of women petitioners/complainants/ visitors/witnesses.

The police stations have been directed to maintain the two registers in a prescribed format with details of the name and address of the complaint; the purpose of the complaint in brief, signature of the complainant and remarks.

The receptionist will guide the complainant/petitioner/visitor to the Station House Officer (SHO) for further action.

Women complainants/petitioners/visitors will be accompanied by a woman constable when they meet the SHO.

However the, two registers maintained at the police stations will not be petition registers. These will be visitors’ registers to record the identity of male and female visitors visiting the police stations for various purposes, including registering crime cases and submitting petitions. The reception and Vanitha desk will issue receipt for any complaint or petition submitted by the visitors to the station house officer of the police station.

The decision to deploy women constables at the reception and Vanitha desk on day duty has been taken in order to exempt women personnel from station guard duties at night hours.

Directive

The officer said Director-General of Police (DGP) Jacob Punnoose had issued instructions to the City Commissioner of Police and Superintendents of Police that women constables and women head constables be exempted, as far as possible, from station guard duties during night hours, between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

But they could be deployed on duty to guard women prisoners, women detainees or for such other duties for which the presence of women police personnel was mandatory, he said.

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