After Uttar Pradesh, the Jaipur police is set to launch its own version of anti-Romeo squads on Monday, the first such initiative in Rajasthan. “We have constituted 26 teams of two policewomen each who will be deputed around the city to specifically deter and prevent crimes against women, such as eve-teasing,” said DCP, Jaipur Headquarters, Gaurav Srivastava. According to Srivastava, the policewomen will be posted at several places depending on the time of the day. For example, they will be near parks in the morning, outside schools in the afternoon and near malls and markets frequented by women in the evening, he said. “The idea is that just their presence should act as a deterrent for any untoward incident. We had undertaken a survey of the places with higher likelihood of crimes against women and have accordingly developed a deputation plan,” he said.
Rajasthan Police Service (RPS) officer Kamal Shekhawat, who will be the nodal officer for the initiative, said, “We have identified about 200 ‘street harassment’ points in Jaipur where the likelihood of such harassment is higher. More points will be added with time. The women will work in two eight-hour shifts from 7 am to 11 pm.”
According to the officers, the policewomen will not have firearms, but a customised baton. Each team of two will have a scooter, a walkie-talkie set and a first-aid kit.
“They will roam the areas frequented by women and respond to anyone in distress. They will be assisted by the local police station and the police control room,” said Jaipur Police Commissioner Sanjay Agarwal. He informed that the scooters have been donated by Hero MotoCorp Limited as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.
The officers, however, are refraining from calling the 26 teams “anti-Romeo squads” and said it has “nothing to do with Uttar Pradesh”. Instead, they are referring to them as “women patrols.”
The Udaipur police had launched women patrols in October last year. Srivastava, however, said that their Standard Operating Procedure differed from their Jaipur counterparts. “They were mainly posted outside tourist spots and their SOP included traffic regulation, checking crime, smooth movement of VIPs, etc. However, in our initiative, the sole role of the policewomen is to check crimes against girls and women,” he said.