The next time your car breaks down at night and getting home seems difficult, a call to the Delhi Police control room (PCR) can safely get you to your destination.
Even though Delhi Police had made this facility available for the city’s women after the December 16 gang rape, it was not publicised among women and PCR personnel.
Though the system was already in place in theory, officials claimed that few were aware of its existence. However, with the increasing spate of crimes against women, the police are now spreading the message across with greater vigour to extend as much security cover to women, as possible.
Women who are stranded anywhere in the city at night, with no means of commute, can dial 100 and get a PCR van to drop them to the nearest Metro station or bus stop.
While police officials cautioned against the facility being misused, they also said that the PCR staff were being sensitised towards attending calls from stranded women who needed assistance.
“We have directed 1,000 PCR vans to pick and drop women stranded in any part of the city if no public transport is available after dark. All that the girls need to do is dial 100 and seek help,” said Robin Hibu, joint commissioner of police, training.
However, some women —though unaware of this facility — who sought help from PCR staff in the past, claimed that they were denied help.
“I had to urgently get to the Metro station and I asked a PCR patrol van to help me since it was 9.45pm and there was no public transport in sight. They told me that they were not allowed to drop me anywhere and it was not that late,” said a student of Miranda House, who lives in the Vijay Nagar area.
This, police officers said, was largely due to the lack of awareness.
“We are trying hard to reach out to the city’s women. Not many women are aware that they can avail of this facility. We are trying to create a data bank of all working women and students in Delhi so that we can reach out to all of them in order to notch up the safety,” he added.