In the aftermath of the horrific gangrape of a 23-year-old on December 16, 2012, committee after committee made the same set of recommendations to the police. Increase staff strength at police stations, especially the number of women officers, suggested these panels.
But at the Vasant Vihar police station, where the FIR over the December 16 incident was registered, nothing has increased, except the rate of crimes against women.
Molestation cases rose from 17 in 2014 to 50 in 2015 till April 15, while incidents of rape increased from nine to 15. To investigate these cases, the police station has but two women sub-inspectors — only for rape and heinous cases. Other cases, like those of molestation, stalking and harassment, are hived off to their male counterparts.
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Recently, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch mapped the most affected areas for four particular offenses — rape, molestation, chain-snatching and murder. The police hope to put in preventive measures in place to control heinous cases.
The numbers show how unsafe this area really is. Vasant Vihar tops the list for the maximum number of rape cases — 15, and molestation — 50.
“There are only two woman sub-inspectors and they are handling all the cases of rape and heinous crimes against women. Other cases such as molestation, harassment, stalking are given to other male sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors,” a senior police officer of South district said, on the condition of anonymity.
With a jurisdiction over an area of seven square km, Vasant Vihar police station covers, among others, some of the most expensive real estate in North India. These include upmarket residential colonies, educational institutions and commercial establishments.
The sanctioned strength for the police station is 174, but only 144 police personnel work here. That’s one police officer for 2,764 citizens.
“To help the woman sub-inspectors, the station house officer (SHO) always deploys one or two constables with them. While the SIs complete the paper work, the constables help with field visits,” a senior officer said.
Police believe poor infrastructure coupled with staff shortages have resulted in increasing crime statistics.
Police sources claimed that in most of the molestation cases, the victims are molested either by a friend or by a family member. “In most of the incidents, the accused was a landlord of the victim and they had an argument over the rent and one misbehaved with the other. Over 70 percent cases were solved in just three or four days,” police sources said.