96 per cent victims knew the rapists

Only four per cent of rapes reported from the Capital in 2013 were committed by strangers, making prevention of such crimes difficult for police. However, they claimed to have solved most of the cases against women over the last one year.

The number of rapes, or at least those reported to police, climbed up to 1,559 in 2013, up by 130 per cent from the previous year. Police claimed to have solved close to 1,400 of these. But in only 58 of these incidents, were the accused complete strangers to the victims. The number of molestation cases in the corresponding period has shot up by 400 per cent.

Not only the success rate, police even boasted of their swift responses on receiving information of any crime against women. They claimed to arrest around 75 per cent of the accused within a week of the crime being reported.

While the alarming rise has led to a slew of initiatives for women’s safety, Commissioner of Police B S Bassi has suggested that girls aged seven or eight be trained in self-defence in school so that they are prepared to defend themselves by the time they reach a “vulnerable age of 13-14”. He wants such courses to be made compulsory in schools for young girls.

The numbers have been presented accurately as tampering with the statistics would directly affect the victims. A senior police officer said the high numbers are a direct result of the December 16 case as more victims are reporting incidents of sexual harassment.

Among the major initiatives taken by police to prevent crimes against women include the process of inducting more female personnel in Delhi Police. The new inductions will include around 306 sub-inspectors and over 1,300 constables.

The police helpline and women helpline numbers have also been increased by around 250 per cent so that victims find it easier to contact police. To make women feel comfortable, every police station has a woman responding to calls on one phone.

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