Handbook for cops to deal with child abuse victims

Handbook for cops to deal with child abuse victims

The handbook was released by Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (pic @MinistryWCD)

A special handbook has been made to inculcate soft skills in policemen at the grassroots level while dealing with children who are abuse victims.

The handbook teaches ways a police officer can communicate with a child, how he can make the child understand that he wants to help the child, among other things.

The handbook was written by a team led by P M Nair of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and was published by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).

"Police act as a watchdog, as the first responder for the child who is in a crisis and what we need from our police officers at that point of time, is empathy and compassion and that is what this handbook aims to teach them," said A P Maheshwari, director general of Bureau of Police Research and Development.

It also tells about specific duties of criminal justice actors that include state government and other agencies.

The book will also give procedures that are to be followed by the police special juvenile police unit.

Officials said the handbook would be distributed in all the police stations and will also have procedures for medical examination and emergency medical care of children.

"We are going to launch a nationwide, districtwide programme of generating soft skills so that we can see empathy and compassion in every police officer whenever he sees a child in need," Maheshwari said.

Calling police officers gatekeepers of human rights, Nair said it is a "one-stop book" for the investigators that link text to context.

"The increase in the crimes against and women and children is mainly due to lack of empowerment in capacity building of the enforcement agencies, if we can do it together we can make a difference and focus on that point. This book exactly focusses on that point," Nair said.

Last week, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had asked the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) to work towards imparting training in soft skills to all policemen in the country.