Tamil Nadu

Child-friendly zones set up in six police stations in Cuddalore

Cuddalore Superintendent of Police M. Sree Abhinav with children at the child-friendly zone at the Sethiyathope AWPS.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Cuddalore district police have created child-friendly spaces in all the six All Women Police Stations (AWPS) - Cuddalore, Panruti, Chidambaram, Sethiyathope, Neyveli and Virudhachalam with the aim to ensure an unintimidating and friendly environment to children.

A number of women who approached the AWPS for lodging complaints including domestic abuse were invariably accompanied by their children. The mothers bring their children as they cannot leave them alone at home.

“We wanted to have a safe and playful environment for the children and created child-friendly spaces. An enquiry will obviously take time. While the parents are meeting the police officers over their cases, the children will be taken to the spaces within the premises and kept there till the process is over,” says Superintendent of Police M. Sree Abhinav.

Cartoon characters have been painted on the walls while the spaces are also equipped with colouring books and toys to keep the children engaged. The facility is similar to a crèche and has mats for kids to sleep and toilets, Mr. Abhinav added.

According to Sethiyathope AWPS Inspector Agnesh Mary, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 mandates provisioning of child-friendly atmosphere. It also mandates guidelines to safeguard the victim at every stage of the judicial process by having child-friendly mechanisms for reporting and investigation.

“When victims of POCSO cases are brought to the AWPS, they initially refuse to talk as the incident has a tremendous effect on the mental health of the child. Now, we have tried to make the children comfortable by setting up child-friendly centres. The facility will also help provide an atmosphere of security to them”, she said.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 4:57:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/child-friendly-zones-set-up-in-six-police-stations-in-cuddalore/article32961113.ece

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