Monday, March 8, 2010

Only 7% women in Delhi Police and few officers

Home ministry is definitely not too happy at the skewed ratio of male and female personnel within the ranks of Delhi Police. In 2008, it categorically asked Delhi Police to increase the number of women police to 15% of the total force and when the suggestion failed to brought any change, repeated its directive in the middle of 2009.

At that time, senior police officers promised that change would be soon visible and more women cops will be hired. Nearly eight months later, the situation on the ground remains same with women constituting just 7% of total Delhi Police personnel.

"Last year, we began the process of hiring more women cops in earnest. But balancing the ratio is proving more difficult than we have anticipated. Though, we also have some success. Even as late as 2008, women constituted about three percent of our total workforce. In the past one-and-a-half year, we have increased this to nearly seven percent,'' said ACP Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson, Delhi Police.

Now, MHA officials say the lack of adequate number of women personnel can have an impact on security during the Commonwealth Games. "Many visitors, especially foreign tourists, prefer to consult women as they feel they are more approachable. Besides, women cops have a more pleasing personality and victims feel more confident in their presence,'' said a senior officer.

According to sources, the current strength of Delhi Police is around 79,000. In the next seven months leading up to the Commonwealth Games, another 900 are expected to join the force. "We reserved 15% of our vacancies for the women cadre after the MHA directive in mid 2008. But since our recruitment is based on need and is proportional to the vacancies available, we can reach increase the number to around 7.5% before the Games,'' added Bhagat.

According to Delhi Police data, there is no woman at the level of a special commissioner. Interestingly, there are only four women officers in the rank of deputy commissioners (DCPs) and additional deputy commissioners (ADCPs) currently as against 103 men in the same rank. Similarly, out of the 348 assistant commissioners (ACPs), only 33 are women.

Out of the total 3,274 women personnel part of active policing, 1,662 are deployed in local policing while 102 are in crime branch. The crime against women cell has 57 women, including five ACPs and six inspectors.

Sources said there are 75 women inspectors (5%) as against 1,244 male inspectors and and 302 sub-inspectors (6%) out of total 5,305. Among 6,783 assistant sub-inspectors, around 350 are women who account for five per cent, while the number of women head constables accounts is 568 (2.7 per cent) out of a total of 20,817.

In the category of constables, the situation has improved somewhat in the last one year. There are now around 4,000 women constables as compared to 1,826 in 2008. However, as far as top ranks are concerned there is only woman police officer now. Earlier there were three officers but recently additional commissioner (licensing) Sundari Nanda and DCP (southeast) Shalini Singh outside Delhi were transferred out of Delhi.

Senior police officers acknowledge that the force needs more women officers on top. "The Delhi police has no say in the recruitment of IPS officers. In fact, not only do we lack enough woman officer but we also have a general shortage of senior officer. Nowadays even ACPs are forced to look after various districts the work usually assigned to the DCPs,'' said a senior officer at the police headquarters.

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