In order to help deter sex offenders and make women feel safer, Delhi has just created an all-female motorcycle squad.
The women of Delhi held a protest against sexual assault five years ago after there was a gang rape in their community. The women of Delhi who report these crimes are harassed by the police or forced into silence. What better way to help women than to form an all-women police force that are familiar with the corruption and unfairness that women face everyday? This will ensure that the victim’s voices are heard and justice is served.
The reason for the all-female police force is because the country has one of the highest rates of violence towards women. Delhi has experienced a 67 percent rise in rapes since 2012, making the 2016 estimate more than 2,150 rapes. Rape is so common here that a poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation found that Delhi, as well as Sao Paulo in Brazil, were the world’s worst cities for sexual violence against women. They even went as far to say that Delhi is India’s “rape capital.”
Ravi Kant, the president of the Shakti Vahini human rights group, says, “Crimes are rising because of poor law enforcement. Criminals know they can get away with it because police investigations are so shoddy that hardly anyone is convicted in the courts. We need a holistic action plan, not this kind of reaction.”
The women’s motorcycle police force, Raftaar (Speed), has 600 trained female officers that carry guns, body cameras, pepper spray, and stun guns, and will be patrolling crowded areas of the city with partners to keep a close eye on high-risk areas.
India is the second most populated country in the world with approximately 26 million people, so it is understandable that people are puzzled by the lack of a police force in the country.
Before the women squadron, Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched an app, called Himmat, in 2015. The app was designed for women who could just be a tap away from being helped by the police. Now, the women’s team can use Himmat to respond quickly to the calls from the app.
In parts of Delhi, the lanes are so narrow that the sun never lights them, so women are commonly harassed in these areas. The narrow alleys make it easier for offenders but harder for police cars or vans to get through. The women motorcyclists will have easy access to the women in trouble.
Dependra Pathak, chief spokesman for Delhi police, says, “The motorbike force, with its hi-tech equipment, will increase visibility on the streets and reassure women because they will zip through narrow lanes and have GPS, they will have a faster response time than patrol vans. The plan is for them to be used mostly in areas such as university areas where there are a lot of female students.”
New Delhi is now the first city in India to have all women PCR teams, which is a huge milestone for the women of India. Other countries, including the USA, should be taking note of the advancements of women overseas.
This new women’s police force is the beginning of something revolutionary for the country of India. Indian women will hopefully feel safer and will actually be safer walking in areas that they normally might avoid.
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