The Indian Police Foundation has been holding a nation-wide series of stakeholder consultations, in quest of a deeper understanding of the ground level issues being faced by the police across the country, to look at our existing policies and practices rigorously and honestly, identify the strengths and weaknesses in the system, flag the main issues and to help evolve an effective and efficient policy framework to support policy makers and field police officers. This is a collaborative process of stakeholder engagement, involving the police leadership at the State levels, field police officers, Government Departments, Prosecutors, Criminologists, NGOs working for the rights of women, adolescents & children, those representing women workers both in the organised and the unorganised sector, academic scholars, lawyers, teachers, students etc.
The outcome document that will be prepared at the end of the nation-wide series of consultations to be held in about 20 cities across the country, will aim at constructing a credible draft policy framework and suggest an effective action plan for better safety and security of women in the country. Apart from setting and recommending standards of policy, the project aims to also identify areas for further research and documentation as well as a roadmap for training, sensitization, capacity building and empowering of field police personnel.
The country has been witnessing an alarming wave of sexual assaults and crimes against women and minor children. Several horrific instances of gang rapes and other forms of brutal acts of violence on women have rocked the country, prompting widespread outrage and public demonstrations of anger. However, there are no signs of abatement, even as the brutality of sexual assaults and trafficking continue to rattle the conscience of citizens across the country.
The police leadership in many States and metropolitan cities have launched some proactive steps, to prevent and combat crimes against women, with varying degrees of success. While some of these have proved to be very effective and worthy of scaling up, many others require further testing and validation. The Police Foundation believes that any credible strategy to enhance the protection of women and children may require a rigorous, nation-wide review and evaluation of existing tools, practices and protocols -- to determine what works and what does not, and if necessary, suggest a fundamental rethinking of the traditional approaches.
The aims and objectives of the proposed Stakeholder Consultations are:
- To study State-wise, the prevalence of different forms of vulnerabilities and manifest sexual violence against women and children; to gather insight into the multiple layers of societal issues and complexities associated with such violence.
- To map the existing security practices and strategies being followed; the technological tools that have been developed and deployed; the extent of their effectiveness and gaps if any; to identify the interventions that are known to work.
- Based on the wealth of knowledge, learnings and ideas so generated from across States and cities, the IPF will develop, construct and refine a comprehensive whitepaper of actionable strategies for consideration of policy makers and field police officers.
- To develop a clear and strong community-centric vision on security of women and children; promoting citizens’ buy-in and fostering a broad sense of joint ownership of the strategy for a more proactive and preventive model.
The events held so far in some of the State Headquarters generated considerable enthusiasm and gave amazing insights into the ground level realities, besides suggesting many practical and actionable solutions.