According to the report, the rate of crimes per one lakh women in Delhi is 184.3, against 53.9 for the rest of the country
The rate of violent incidents against women in the national Capital continues to remain “unacceptably high”. Delhi recorded the highest number of such incidents among all states and Union Territories (UT) in the last four years, according to a recent report.
The report titled ‘Safety of women in public spaces in Delhi: Governance and budgetary challenges’ has been compiled by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), a think-tank focusing on public policies and government finances in India, and NGO Jagori. According to the report, the rate of crimes per one lakh women in Delhi is 184.3, against 53.9 for the rest of the country.
Highlighting the major reasons behind this growing crisis, the study stated that the shortage of police personnel and inadequate presence of women in the security forces have made the situation worse.
“The actual strength of Delhi Police personnel is lesser than the number of sanctioned posts. In the last three years, the actual number of personnel in Delhi police was around 9,000 short of 85,000 sanctioned posts, a significant shortfall in a jurisdiction the size in Delhi,” it said.
“The percentage of women in the Delhi Police is shockingly low — 9 per cent of the total strength, 75,653, by the year 2015,” the report revealed, adding that even these women were concentrated in the lower ranks of the force and their negligible presence at higher levels underscored the need to ensure women’s presence at every level.
Contesting the findings, however, Former Commissioner of Police Neeraj Kumar said the presence of women personnel in the force was adequate. “There is a separate desk for handling women issues in every police station in the national Capital. These desks are being headed by women personnel,” he said. “In other states, crimes against women are often under reported,” he added.
The report further stated that in case of presence of women drivers and conductors in the public transport system, “there is only one woman driver out of total 11,651 DTC drivers and less than 250 women conductors against 2,000 odd men conductors”.
It also highlighted the weak implementation of measures such as CCTV cameras, GPS devices, and home guards. Besides, the report stated that the capacity of night shelters was extremely low. “The capacity number of night shelters is only 21,574 for a reported homeless population of 47,076,” it said.
“How can the Delhi government ensure safety of women when it cannot even fulfill the promises of ensuring more presence of women in its police and public transport systems?” rued women rights activist Ranjana Kumari. “There is a lack of political will to do something concrete to ensure safe public spaces for women,” she added.
Backing Kumari’s argument, several students in the Capital said security was their major concern. “I think the invisibility of police personnel in certain areas is the major reason behind the growing rate of crimes against women,” said Riya Sharma, a Delhi University student.
The study was based on the analysis of Delhi and Union government documents, including schemes’ guidelines, annual reports, budget documents, and outcome budgets, as well as RTI responses.