For the first time in the history of the Delhi Police, your version of the crime — sans instructions, ‘suggestions’ or even spell checks — will have to be the police’s too.
The Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi has directed the police to convert every single complaint by a female citizen into a criminal case as an immediate matter of course.
The police administration has gone a step further by issuing strict instructions to take down the statement of crime victims as narrated or verbatim.
“Not just this, the police officer concerned will also be bound to give the complainant a copy of his or her complaint on the spot as soon as it has been taken down,” said Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.
While the commissioner refused to elaborate, a senior police officer said it would go a long way in making complainants, especially women, feeling “relatively less short-changed at the hands of the same police force meant to protect and serve them”.
“A major chunk of complainants who contact senior district officers or those queuing outside the Delhi Police headquarters seek intervention not only for the laxity of the local police or the corruption of its personnel, but also in relation to complaints ‘toned down’ to the very brink of frivolity to reduce paperwork,” he said.
“If implemented properly, this could stop. A complainant reporting a stolen phone will not be asked to state that he or she ‘lost’ it and be handed a non-cognisable report (NCR) instead of an FIR and a woman complainant reporting an attempt at rape will not be ‘advised’ to state that she was only ‘molested’.”
However, another officer said the step was bound to prove to be a two-edged sword for the local police.
It would be a challenge technically, according to the officer, because ‘assistance’ was sometimes necessary to compartmentalise complaints as per provisions existing within the Indian Penal Code (IPC). He also pointed out that statistically it would lead to a leap in the total number of cases registered.
“In a city where statistics seem to matter more than the perception of safety on its streets, it will simply give the average policeman more to be frustrated about,” he said.