Five women only police stations being set up in Kolkata

The State Home Department is planning to set up another five women only police stations in Kolkata by May. The State government, which has already set up 20 such police stations, plans to introduce 65 more such facilities all over Bengal by the end of this year. These police stations would investigate crimes against women.

At a recent meeting, West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee asked senior police officers to further increase the presence of women in the force.

Kolkata Police now have only 800 female cops in their 26,000-strong police force.

A rape or molestation survivor always finds it more comfortable to open up before a woman police officer. Here lies the importance of women only police stations. Such police stations are also likely to lead to more women reaching out to report incidents that bother them. Many incidents of eve-teasing that often do not get reported can actually lead to bigger crimes. But if women start reporting such incidents at these new police stations, it will also help us develop a better prevention mechanism.

An all-women battalion was not just a step towards correcting city police’s pathetically-lopsided gender equation — 780 women to 25,720 men — but it was also a step towards ensuring more practical policing.

At present, the city’s police stations have three female police personnel each — two constables and a sub-inspector. Women personnel have also been deployed at a radio flying squad that is stationed at night to respond to any crimes against women.