After the December 16 gang rape in Delhi, the police had announced a slew of measures to ensure the safety and security of Ghaziabad residents, especially women.
However, after almost a year, the city’s women are still apprehensive of moving out during evening hours due to thin police presence on the streets and secluded areas.
“There are hardly any PCR vans or pickets inside Ghaziabad. A couple of days ago, we were returning with our family around 11.30pm and we noticed that there were no PCR vans around. Entire stretches of roads at a go had no police personnel patrolling them at all. Obviously, no woman would want to move out alone in such a situation,” said Ruby Kumar from Indirapuram.
As always, police officers, claim staff shortage and lack of resources as two main reasons why there aren’t enough police personnel on the roads.
Ghaziabad district has a total of 4,000 police personnel.
Apart from this, the police department in the district has around 282 vehicles, including 156 two-wheelers, to keep a vigil on a huge population of around 46.6 lakh (Census-2011) scattered across 13 police station areas.
“We have deployed personnel and also policemen in civil clothes at places like busy markets,” said superintendent of police (crime) Ramabhilash Tripathi.
In an interview, Dharmendra Singh, SSP, Ghaziabad told Hindustan Times that, "Accused in crimes against women are being booked under stringent act."
Why are there not enough policemen on the roads?
We are utilising the resources available to us optimally. Police presence has been increased at vital points in markets, malls, Metro and railway stations which women use frequently. Many other areas are manned. Further, we have begun booking those charged with offences such as eve-teasing under the provisions of the stringent Goonda Act.
The population of the district has grown, but the number of policemen has not grown accordingly. What is being done?
The recruitments are part of state government policy and being done by concerned state officials. We have to fully utilise the resources available to us. We have also deployed women staff in PCR vans.
What measures have been taken to deal with crime against women?
We have targeted and arrested dozens of offenders who were wanted in cases of dowry and other atrocities against women. PCR presence has been intensified at secluded and unlit areas. We have also shifted non-performing personnel to other locations.