Capital faces shortage of women cops, cases pile up

Capital faces shortage of women cops, cases pile up

Women-related crime cases are piling up in the Capital. The reason: there are very few women in Delhi Police.

Several women in the force, on condition of anonymity, agreed that women-related cases, mostly dealing with harassment or violence, are piling up due to the paucity of women officers.

The need for more women in the force increased after the December 16 gang rape of a 23-year-old woman when the home ministry proposed that each of the Capital’s 180 police stations should have nine women personnel.

“We have sent the proposal to the home ministry to recruit another 3,000 women personnel in the force,” a police officer said.

“But the nod is yet to come,” the officer added.

Delhi Police have a strength of 85,000, of which only around 5,700 are women, while there are over seven million women in the Capital, as per the 2011 census. Delhi’s total population is over 16 million.

As more and more women are coming forward to register crimes of harassment and molestation, Delhi Police find their hands full.

Also, after the last year gang rape, police have made crime against women their top priority and thus, the need for more women in the force is being acutely felt. Women’s helpdesks are also being opened at each police station.

Women in the force mostly investigate crimes like rape, molestation, stalking and harassment. This means they are grossly overburdened with work.

“I am working on eight cases related to crime against woman. Of them, two are rape cases. In my police station, I am the only woman officer, while others are constables,” a woman sub-inspector said.

There are only 87 women inspectors as compared to 1,313 men, said another woman police officer.

While a woman inspector has to do night duties, the other women in the force are exempted from this. Inspectors are also entitled to a separate cabin.

Of the 44,945 sub-inspectors in the force, only 265 are women.

“Sometimes I am overburdened with cases which affects the output. I can seek help of my male colleagues. But they also have their own cases. I am really stressed on
occasions and my days are sometimes very long,” the woman sub-inspector said.

Due to shortage of women personnel, several police stations have no women’s force.
Delhi has 238 posts of assistant commissioners of police, of which 20 are occupied by women officers.

“Delhi Police have deployed women officials at every police station on women helpdesks. But women investigators are very few,” another woman officer said.