In over 95 per cent of rape cases in the national capital, the victim and the accused are known to each other, according to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik. The city’s top police officer also said the issue of women safety cannot be addressed by the Delhi Police alone, but requires larger participation from various government departments.
According to statistics of the Delhi Police, 2,155 rape cases were reported in the national capital last year, and strangers were involved in only 3.57 per cent of them. “If you analyse the incidents, less than 4 per cent of the accused are unknown to the victims. In the remaining 96 per cent of the cases, the accused are known to the victims,” he told PTI.
Normally, the police cannot intervene in such cases, as complaints in these circumstances crop up only after the offence is committed, he said. Patnaik also said, the image of Delhi being “unsafe” for women has been created because of certain cases — wherein the victim and the accused were not known to each other –highlighted by the media.
“We consider these cases to be consequential ones, where the actual bad elements committed the crime,” he said, adding that the media also highlights cases where the offence has been committed by friends, acquaintances or relatives. “Because of these consistent media reports, maybe it has led to the perception (of Delhi being unsafe for women),” he said.
Patnaik said, he has come across women who travel late at night in the national capital and they are appreciative of police’s efforts. He expressed hope the city’s perception of being “unsafe” for women would change in the years to come.
He also batted for improving the infrastructure related to women’s safety so that the issue can be addressed in a holistic way. The Commissioner said the police is an important cog in the wheel as far as women’s safety is concerned, but other issues — like education, last-mile connectivity — have to be addressed by other agencies.
“We are doing our best. But, the issue is of such a nature that the time has come for everyone to work together, particularly in terms of improving infrastructure, street-lighting and last-mile connectivity,” he said. The related issue is also what kind of a mindset a boy develops towards women since childhood.
“That needs to be addressed at an initial stage — first what parents teach their kids and then at the school education level,” he added. The Commissioner said the police is working on a mechanism to ensure women feel safe while travelling in cabs.
“We are working on developing some mechanisms by which we can have some control over cab drivers and woman should have data on him. She should be confident that the driver has been vetted by the police,” he said.