As women’s safety is being taken up as an important issue by the authorities, it is important to have enough women personnel during dark hours to keep a check on mishaps. However, this is not the case in Kochi as public transport areas and major spots in the city remain uncovered by women police personnel at night as Kerala Police Association does not find it safe for women police to patrol at night. This, despite the fact that women commuters themselves demand that the law-enforcing agency should deploy women cop patrols around public transport spots during the night.

While senior officials pride themselves of having adequate number of women cops in the team, sources tell a different story altogether, reports TNIE. They say that women cops in the city don’t want to take up night patrolling and also allege that top rank officers of the state police have not taken it very seriously to deploy women police personnel at bus stands and railway stations because Kerala Police Association (KPA) finds it difficult to manage the safety of women cops late at night.

C R Biju, KPA general secretary said that because there are less number of women cops in the team, women officers are unwilling to take up night patrolling. “Whether it’s the bus stand, railway station or any other spot, the department cannot send a single woman officer along with the male officers for duty at night. At least, two women personnel are needed in the team for deployment in bus stands and railway stations. Only if the government recruits an adequate number of women as police personnel, the department will be able to end the impasse,” Biju said.

Top police officers of the city have met several times to discuss this issue and find a solution, however, no concrete resolve has come forward. Reports say that the successive state governments are not in favour of changing an order issued by V S Achuthanandan-led LDF government that exempted women from night duty except for night guard duty at police stations.

Whether it’s the bus stand, railway station or any other spot, the department cannot send a single woman officer along with the male officers for duty at night. At least, two women personnel are needed in the team for deployment in bus stands and railway stations. Only if the government recruits an adequate number of women as police personnel, the department will be able to end the impasse

Women officers who go out to patrol started in 2016 and were called pink patrol and they only patrolled till 8 pm every day.  Starting at 8 am in the morning, they circle different areas of the city like Ernakulam city, Thrikkakara, Fort Kochi to Tripunithura. Each vehicle in the pink patrol consists of a woman police officer, a driver, and two women civil police officers (CPOs).

Picture credit- Mid Day

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