NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel has come down heavily on Delhi Police saying it must stop shrugging off responsibilities in checking crimes against women and tighten its belt to provide security to the citizens of the capital.
The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs also rejected the Home Ministry's plea that the role of Delhi Police is limited on the pretext that a number of socio-economic and criminogenic factors are responsible for prevalent attitude against women.
It was of a strong view that the government should take immediate steps to improve forensic investigation facilities. The Standing Committee said it does not concur with the idea of the Home Ministry that crime against women by people known to the victims continues to be nearly 96 per cent and by strangers just 4 per cent and hence the responsibility to prevent such crime lies with the society as a whole and other civic agencies besides police in the same proportion.
"The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that Delhi Police, instead of shrugging off its responsibilities towards preventing crimes against women must chalk out effective and resilient strategy to combat crimes against women," the Committee said in its 189th report.
It suggested that wherever necessary, other agencies including civic bodies and civil society also may be involved in the process. The Standing Committee notes that facilities of PCR vans of Delhi Police are an effective mechanism for policing, but the problem is that the staff manning the call centre find difficulty in identifying locations or understanding locations or names of the roads and places which victim or a person tell them. It is because staff are not familiar with the locations and various places resulting that personnel posted take a lot of time trying to understand position.
"The Committee, therefore, recommends that the people at the call centre must be familiar and must have enough inputs on the location of various places of Delhi," the report said.
The Standing Committee said it is dismayed at the short and cryptic reply of the Home Ministry about procurement of PCRs by Delhi Police which is the basic infrastructure for working of Delhi Police. The panel found that out of 1,004 vehicles of Delhi Police Control Room, only 886 PCR vans are on road and 118 multi purpose vehicles are off road due to condemnation process.
It said that keeping in view the fact that Delhi is expanding at a very high pace, presence of PCR vans is required in areas where new colonies, industrial areas and slums have come up. The members of the Standing Committee had visited the Delhi Police headquarters on June 29 and held discussions with the Commissioner of Police and other officials.
During the course of discussions, some members felt that people coming from other regions of the country who do not know either English or Hindi face a lot of problems while interacting with personnel of call centre of Delhi Police. "The Committee, therefore, recommends that Delhi Police may take necessary steps to appoint people of all languages as indicated in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution so that people from other areas may not face any problem in interacting with call centre of Delhi Police.
The Standing Committee also expressed its anguish on the sorry state of affairs in the facility of forensic investigation and was of strong view that the government should take immediate steps to improve the situation and that the capital city should have state of the art facility of forensic investigation.
"The Committee is of the considered view that a conclusive forensic investigation is required to ensure proper and speedy investigation and trials. Therefore, capital city should have state-of-the-art facility of forensic investigation.
"The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that Delhi Police must work upon implementing the strategy on upgrading police capacities in forensic science and augmentation," the report said.