Delhi ‘speed’ squad fights crime against women

Pretoria News Weekend - - WORLD -

NEW DELHI: An all-fe­male po­lice mo­tor­bike squad is set to take to Delhi’s streets next month as re­ports of vi­o­lence against women rise in the In­dian cap­i­tal.

The Raf­taar or speed squad of 600 po­lice­women will ride in pairs through the streets on state-of-art mo­tor­bikes, equipped with guns, pep­per sprays and body cam­eras.

“It is a ro­bust street crim­i­nal con­tain­ment strat­egy,” said Delhi po­lice spokesper­son Depen­dra Pathak. “The pil­lion will carry a weapon like an AK-47 ri­fle and the rider car­ry­ing a 9mm pis­tol…

They will have all the ac­ces­sories to make them ef­fec­tive on the ground.” Women and girls face threats from rape, ab­duc­tion and mur­der over dowry to sex­ual ha­rass­ment, acid at­tacks and child mar­riage.

A poll last month by the Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion found Delhi and Brazil’s São Paulo are the world’s worst for sex crimes against women.

Re­ports of vi­o­lence against women in Delhi have al­most dou­bled since 2012, with 11 588 crimes recorded up to Novem­ber 15 this year. Women’s desks in Delhi po­lice sta­tions have been es­tab­lished, thou­sands of po­lice re­ceived gen­der sen­si­ti­sa­tion classes and Delhi has more night pa­trols, sur­veil­lance and check­points. – Reuters

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