IN THE wake of the December 16 gangrape and murder, the central government made it mandatory that only woman police officers would head investigations dealing with cases of sexual assault on woman.
However, according to Delhi police data, only seven per cent of woman officers have been entrusted with investigations of sexual assault cases. On an average, the data shows, there is only one woman Investigation Officer (IO) for at least 29 cases.
The records show that only 500 of the 6,349 women officers are involved in investigating 14,530 cases of crime against women registered till November in Delhi. These include cases of rape, molestation, eve-teasing, dowry death, abduction and crime against minors.
“Women IOs are investigating more than 50 cases. We need a three-fold increase in this number. However, the concern is also over expertise. A majority of them cannot investigate these cases as they do not have experience. Most of them have been promoted from junior ranks and are not equipped to carry complex investigation. Apart from quantity, we also need quality IOs handling these cases,” said a senior Delhi police officer.
Senior Delhi police officers point the finger at the “dismal rate of recruitment” of woman officers. Records show that there was an 83 per cent dip in recruitment of woman officers in 2015 as compared to the last year — 39 in 2012, 1,388 in 2014 and just 230 in 2015.
While the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued guidelines to increase the strength of women officers up to 33 per cent, the Delhi police has been able to achieve a target of just 8 per cent.
“Recruitments can be made only against the vacancies available each year due to retirements. In such a situation, the only way out is to create fresh posts for women officers,” said the senior officer.