All-Women Patrolling Units Likely To Be Introduced In Bhubaneswar
In another move to deal with threats against women in the state capital, the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Twin City Police Commisionerate has decided to roll out all-women patrol vans soon. Once deployed, these units will promptly respond to calls from women in distress across the city. Furthermore, plans to compose new ‘she’ teams in police stations are also in the making.
“We are working on the concept and will soon give it a final shape. The safety and security of women are our top priorities,” commissioner of police Saumendra Priyadarshi said. While Bhubaneswar does not have an alarming rate of crimes against women, the move is being seen as a positive reinforcement to the security and instils confidence in women venturing out at any time of the day.
The proposed ‘she teams’ would patrol areas near educational institutions, women’s hostels, shopping malls and parks. They would be the first responders to women complaints and render immediate aid in cases relating to eve-teasing, snatching and other street crimes against women.
The Commisionerate Police has also recently launched a WhatsApp number 7077798111 for citizens to report incidents of street crime – such as harassment, chain-snatching and theft. There has recently been a spurt in daylight crimes which has kept the police on their toes. At least 50 incidents of snatching have been occurring every month. Some incidents go unreported as the victims do not approach the police for help.
To ensure strict punishment for those convicted of offences against women, the police have now started profiling chain-snatching cases as robberies, which carry a higher sentence than petty crimes.
Notably, Bhubaneswar is not a pioneer in its quest to introduce all-women teams. Gajapati, Sambalpur and Koraput district police have in the past launched dedicated women safety wings.