iconimg Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pratik Salunke, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, February 23, 2013
With the number of sex offenders and cases of harassment going up with every passing day, the city police have appointed 140 women, who have been trained and granted identification cards, to keep a constant check on crimes against women.
The move, an initiative of Zone V of the Mumbai police, was the result of an appeal by the representatives of women vigilance committees to allot them identity cards to question miscreants on streets.

Zone V comprises seven police stations — Dadar, Shivaji Park, Mahim, Kurla, Dharavi, VB Nagar and Shahu Nagar —where members from the vigilance committees have been appointed.

 “Every police station has appointed 20 women representatives who will act as the eyes and ears of the police department. The representatives include activists and teachers,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police, Zone V.

The women representatives will also help the police in addressing problems faced by victims of harassment. “The representatives will help us with counselling victims, intervening in family disputes and addressing problems faced by women in general. With an identification card, they now have the authority to intervene in incidents of harassment. The identification cards will also help to boost their morale,” said Kulkarni. “The identification card will have the photograph of the representative and the police station she is associated with.”

The initiative comes in wake of the recent spurt in crimes against women. Many women had echoed the need for appointment of representatives during an event held by the police in January this year for creating awareness on safety of women.

The police stations will hold regular meetings with the representatives to take stock of issues faced by women in the area. The representatives will also ensure that every incident of harassment is reported, police said.