Delhi Police need women officers

Despite a marked requirement of greater number of women in Delhi Police in the wake of the increasing crimes against women in Delhi, less than 10% women make up the total number of Delhi Police personnel.

According to Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), among the existing number of women in the police force, the number of women in higher ranks are even less.

“In the year 2014, 5,040 women were employed in Delhi Police in various ranks out of a total strength of 77,000,” said Devika Prasad, coordinator, Police Reforms Programme, CHRI.
More than the numbers, the rank which a woman police personnel holds is significant in terms of giving women adequate representation in the police force.

However, here also, the data shows that out of 5,040 woman police personnel most of them comprise the ranks of constable and head constable. Even in the ranks of inspector and sub-inspector, men far outnumber women.

To help a woman complainant, a woman help desk has been constituted in every police station of the city. But almost all the police stations have a male Section House Officer (SHO). Even at inspector and sub-inspector level, representation of women is very thin.

“Quality of policing is more important than quantity. Although, women police personnel are being inducted in Delhi Police, most of them are being recruited at the constable and head constable ranks. Barring a couple of them, hardly any woman SHO can be seen in any of the police station in Delhi,” said Prasad.

Through various studies conducted by NGOs and government organisations in the area of effective policing, it has been observed that many women do not approach police, as they may have to confide or report the incident to a male police officer. This is particularly so in sex-related crimes.

A skewed police force with inadequate gender representation is a major barrier in effective policing in cases related to women.

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