Police force lacks women representation significantly

Mumbai: Amid a rising graph of crimes against women, data obtained under RTI show that the Mumbai Police still has a long way to go to achieve adequate representation of women personnel in the force, across ranks. Not a single police zone in the city has more than 19 per cent women officers in its sanctioned strength.

As per data provided by the Mumbai Police to activist Shakeel Shaikh, there is a clear disparity in the proportion of women police officers working in various police stations and branches. The numbers are of concern, especially in light of Supreme Court directives mandating that every investigation pertaining to crimes against women should carried out by a woman officer.

With this disproportionate representation, it is also evident that the existing women cops have an over-burdening workload. Meeran Borwankar, who served as Joint CP (Crime) in Mumbai and later retired as DG of the Bureau of Police Research and Development, stressed on the need to have special recruitment of women cops to address the disparity.

“The reason for very few women in police stations is because their number is around 11 per cent of the total department. This is despite the 33 per cent reservation for women in all government departments,” Borwankar said, adding, “Since it is mandatory that cases like rape or under POCSO be investigated only by women officers, we definitely need more women officers.”

“Special recruitment for women and special training in the investigation of offences against women need to be pursued. In a research carried out by Centre For Police Research Pune, (2016), women officers had also sought leadership and experience sharing workshops for improving their skills,” Borwankar added.

The Union home ministry had in 2009, 2012 and 2016 sent advisories to all state governments and Union territories to increase the strength of women police personnel to 33 per cent.

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