Increase in women’s participation in law enforcement could curb crimes against women, says new coffee table book

Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 29

Himachal's police have been seeing a steady increase in women's participation in law enforcement, a recently released coffee table book—'Veerangana' (brave women)—says.

The book, released recently to honour 50 years of women in police, says women make up currently 13 per cent of the force today—their strength has gone up from three recruits back in 1973 to 15 Indian Police Service officers, 8 Himachal Police Service officers, 13 Inspectors, 28 sub-inspectors, 45 assistant sub-inspectors, 100 head constables and 2166 constables in 2021.

The book attributes this increase in the growing awareness about women's rights and a changing view on how people, especially women, view the force.

This increase is significant given the increase in crimes against women: according to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), 1633, 1636, and 1614 cases of crime against women were registered in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. The charge sheet rate in 2020 was around 79 per cent, as compared to 73.6 per cent in 2019 and 72.2 per cent in 2018. Indeed, the book acknowledges how an increase in women's participation in law enforcement could help bring down crimes against women.

Crimes against women include murder with rape, abetment to suicide cruelty to women, dowry deaths, kidnapping, acid attack, outraging modesty, immoral trafficking, cybercrime targeting women, and other crimes related to women.

The book also highlights the experience of Himachal's first IPS women officer (1996 batch) Satwant Atwal Trivedi who is also the first IPS women officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Border Security Force (BSF) to inspire the young girls.

'Veerangana' captures the journey of women in HP Police and recognises their stellar role in policing and contribution towards women empowerment in the state and the society, DGP Sanjay Kundu said, adding: "our women officers send a strong message of women empowerment thereby helping other women get the freedom to walk freely and fearlessly in public places and follow their ambition".

The other initiatives to increase women's participation in law enforcement include the establishment of all-women police stations in all the districts barring Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti, introducing 24X7 Gudiya helpline and shakti button app for women in distress and staring Samarth Yojna to impart unarmed combat training to girls studying in schools and colleges.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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