Delhi

Women beat officers bring in sense of security, comfort

Women constables interact with students in North West district’s Bharat Nagar.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

In 26 years of her service in Delhi Police, this is the first time that Head Constable Sunita has been made a beat officer. She is three months pregnant, but she chose to be a beat officer when asked a month ago.

In a first, all 11 police stations in North West district of the Capital has four women beat officers each — including a Sub-Inspector, Assistant Sub-Inspector, Head Constable and Constable — as part of an initiative undertaken by DCP (North-West) Usha Rangnani.

The officials share their experience of being beat officers.

“There are so many times that male officers ask us to come along because they believe we will be able to handle the situation better. Things have really improved for us,” said Constable Monika Yadav (29).

Ms. Yadav is posted in Ashok Vihar police station while her sister is a Constable in the East district. “It was our mother’s dream that we join police.”

Talking about a typical day, Constable Kiran (38) who is posted in the Bharat Nagar police station — very calm yet firm in her command — said she reports to the police station as per her shift for the day and then proceeds to her beat where she and Constable Rinku take a few rounds of the area — mostly residential with a hospital, temples and a market. They then stay at their booth and move around the area every few hours.

“Seeing women officers, people would initially ask us if we are there only for show-off. We told them it will be a regular affair now and so far, the response has been good from both men and women,” Ms. Kiran said.

‘A matter of assurance’

Seeing a women officer in public is a matter of assurance for other women that they are not alone, Constable Preeti (25) posted in Ashok Vihar police station. “They feel safer and comfortable. For them, approaching us is a lot easier than approaching a male officer. Women have felt so proud that they have come forward to take selfies. I remember a mother of a little girl told me that the child wanted to be a police officer when she grew up,” she smiled.

Sharing another experience, Constable Monika said they received a PCR call in her beat area and the caller — a woman — refused to open the door to male staff. But when Ms. Monika reached and spoke to her from outside the gate, she opened it.

Using fear tactics

Constable Rinku remembered ending a fight between a rickshaw puller and his neighbours. “I intervened and used fear tactics,” she said.

With women beat officers, senior citizens in their areas feel a lot more at ease, they said. Constable Rinku receives a call from an 83-year-old woman almost every day “just to talk” because she doesn’t have people to talk to. “We give our personal numbers to senior citizens in our areas. A few days ago, an aunt called me and asked me to come home. When I went, she wanted to feed me gol gappas she had made. I was touched,” the official said.

Constable Uma Mehra is posted in Mukherjee Nagar police station. The area has girls’ hostels and paying guest accommodations for students studying in the North Campus and many preparing for Civil Services examinations. In presence of Ms. Mehra and Constable Poonam Singh Bora, women in the area reportedly feel safe.

“We have met many girls in the last four weeks and they feel a lot better. They don’t have to come to the police station physically for every little complaint. Often, we meet them and resolve their issues,” she said.

The beat officers also receive calls from house helps who share their problems, including harassment by unknown men and domestic issues. Residents’ Welfare Association members also call the officers and appreciate them, they said.

Families of all of the officials are extremely supportive of their work, they all claimed. “Our families also realise that times are changing. They support us no matter irrespective of our job timings,” said Head Constable Sunita.

At the police station, the officials have a scooty at their disposal whenever they are at work.

A senior officer said crime prevention and detection have increased significantly because of this initiative of deploying dedicated women beat officers. “We can see the crime numbers falling — thefts, snatching, molestation — and people feeling secure. Women officers are practically more sincere than male officers,” she said.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 6:34:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/women-beat-officers-bring-in-sense-of-security-comfort/article35659750.ece

Next Story