Stepping up on safety, Delhi police to launch five all-women PCRs next week
NEW DELHI:To strengthen women-safety mechanism in the national capital, the Delhi Police, in a first, is all set to launch its all-women police control room (PCR) vans next week. A PCR vehicle will comprise three women personnel, including a commando, who will attend the distress calls in their jurisdiction.
Following Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma’s recent directions to form a PCR van unit fully managed by women, Special Commissioner of Police Sanjay Beniwal, who is the head of PCR unit, has come up with five such PCR vans. The unit will be flagged off by next week and will be seen on city roads, particularly in Lutyens’ Delhi. The unit will be expanded gradually.
After December 16, 2012 gang rape and murder incident, there was hue and cry from all quarters over non-deployment of female cops in PCR vehicles stating that women victims keep themselves away from revealing their problem to male cops during distress call.
As many as 9,898 cases of crime against women — 1,397 rape incidents and 2,725 cases of molestation — have been reported till August 15. The PCR is among the biggest units of the Delhi Police with 8,500-personnel. Though the sanctioned strength of PCR vans is 1,000, at least 150 vehicles are diverted to VIP security and 193 are condemned. And the request to replace them is pending with the home ministry.
So, the police are left with 657 PCR vans to attend around 73 lakh distress calls a year, which makes it nearly 22,000 calls per day. Of this, around 5,000 calls are actionable. A PCR attends about 30 calls per day. And even if a PCR team takes an hour to attend one call, they will still not be able to attend to every urgent call.
A senior police officer says, “The PCR vans act like ambulance. The police personnel chase and catch criminals putting their lives at risk, carry unidentified bodies dumped on city roads and assist local police, besides attending distress calls. These women cops have been trained to deal will all kinds of distress calls. They have also been given basic medical training.”