Punjab & Region

With a massive rise in domestic violence cases amid lockdown, police decide to act on such cases

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The Punjab Police has finally decided to formulate a detailed strategy to tackle cases related to domestic violence. The strategy will include a daily action taken report submitted by the DSP for Crime Against Women. Ever since the national lockdown kicked in, there has been a massive increase in complaints of domestic violence against women.

Figures show that there has been a 21% increase (from 4709 to 5695) in total cases of Crime Against Women (CAW) between February and April 20, and a similar percentage of increase in cases of domestic violence against women (from 3287 to 3993) in the same period.

On the other hand, there has been a substantial decrease in registration of cases relating to dowry harassment, rape, and eve-teasing cases during the same period, possibly because men and women are not stepping out and there is increased police presence.

DGP Dinkar Gupta said the average number of calls received on DIAL 112 per day went up to 133 – a whopping 34% for domestic violence cases, during March 20-April 20, from the previous 3 months’ average of 99.33. The per day increase in total CAW cases in this period is 30%.

What will the police personnel do?

To take stock of the situation and discuss measures to tackle this increase, the DGP on Thursday held a video conference with all DSPs of CAW cell and Women Help Desk Officials. As per the detailed strategy, presented during the VC by Gurpreet Deo, ADGP Community Affairs Division (CAD), SOPs have been put in place to devise the police’s response mechanism.

The meeting decided that DSP CAW will send a Daily Report in a defined format to track all such complaints and monitor the action taken. The police will coordinate, as needed, with various other departments. The services of these counselors will be utilized to counsel the victims, perpetrators, and provide necessary protection in case of children.

How will the police personnel act?

As per the response mechanism, the CAW call is received at 112 and forward to District Control Room (DCC), with details of the call also given to DSP CAW and District Women Help Desks. The Women Help Desk/ Women Response Team are required to call the concerned, visit the women in distress. Women constables posted at PS, designated as PS-WLO, then handhold the complainant and coordinate with the PS and District level Helpdesk on her behalf.

It has been decided that the teams will call back the women in distress immediately, provide Tele-Counselling, and even visit if needed. They will also provide in-situ counseling to the couple/family involved, and rescue the women victims in case they want to go to maternal house or shelter home. A medical examination is done in case of physical abuse. The teams will then initiate criminal proceedings, in liaison with SHO, if a case is made out.

The DGP also issued a stern warning that such cases will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken.

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