The police department in Uttarakhand will hold one of its largest drives to recruit women in the police force, giving them priority to investigate crime against women, an official said on Thursday.
The Uttarakhand police have sent a proposal to the state home department to recruit 1,600 more women police personnel, which include 600 women police sub inspectors, said state director general of police (DGP)
“We want to raise the number of women police personnel by inducting 800 to 1000 constables and 600 sub inspectors at a single go,” Sidhu told HT. “We have a drastic shortage of women personnel in the force and have requested the government to let us recruit women as a one-time exercise to bring them up to the requisite number.”
The aim is to increase the number of women personnel in the force from the present 13% to 15%, Sidhu said.
He added that the induction of women will help women victims in getting their statements recorded by a policewoman as they usually feel “uncomfortable” providing details of the cases in front of male police personnel.
Most cases of crimes against women and juveniles go unreported as the victims continue to be harassed, the DGP said.
“We want every thana (police station) to have a woman sub-inspector. At present, there are entire districts without a single lady inspector,” he added.
The total strength of the civil police in the state is 10,346, out which 1,221 are women police personnel serving at different ranks in the police force.
The DGP said there was a growing need to strengthen the women police force in the state in view of the rising crimes against women.
He said though the total number of women police personnel is higher than the sanctioned 772 posts, it is still much lower compared to the number of their male counterparts.
Expressing concern over the growing crimes against women, rights activists in the state welcomed the police move, saying greater inclusion of women will help in dispelling sense of insecurity among women.
“Deployment of more female cops is a good way to remove the insecurity factor among women. The number of policewomen should at least be increased in the most sensitive (crime-prone) districts where the rate of crimes against women is high,” said Ghazala Jabeen, member of the Uttarakhand State Commission for Women.
Sunita Shahi of Nainital-based Mahila Adhikar Manch-Nainital said simply increasing the number of constables would not suffice. “We certainly need greater inclusion of women at the sub-inspector and inspector level so that prompt action and investigation in women-related crimes can be ensured,”
Crimes against women have consistently been high in the state over the past years.
While in 2012, the total number of such cases was 1,293, according to Uttarakhand police data, the figure jumped to 2,023 in 2013. Last year, the figure dipped slightly to 1,948 while the number of crime against women in the first two months of 2015 has already touched 279.