Bengal gears up for Child-friendly Police Stations

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Kolkata: After setting up Women Police Stations across the State, the West Bengal Government is setting another example by forming Child-friendly Police Stations.As a start-up, some police stations in Kolkata and different districts of the State have been identified. A meeting was held in this regard with the UNICEF officials at Nabanna.  Nine police stations in Kolkata and 29 police stations across the State have been shortlisted initially.

Such police stations will help the children to file their complaints in a friendlier atmosphere. Also, children, who have committed offences, will be dealt according to their age.The Police Department is framing a guideline for the Child-friendly police stations and will also provide special training to the officers who will be in charge of those. It has been decided that a Child Welfare Officer will be designated in these police stations. A separate register will also be in place for the children who would lodge complaints.

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It has been decided that to protect minor girls who have been subjected to sexual assaults, only women officers will speak to the victims. Audio-visual recordings of the complainant’s verbatim accounts will be preserved. In case of juvenile offenders, the identity of the offenders will be kept undisclosed and Juvenile Justice Board will be the first body to be approached in these cases.

Besides administrative measures, infrastructure will be put in place like proper sitting area for children, basic amenities like drinking water, proper toilets. Also, the Child-friendly police stations will organize community programmes to create awareness regarding child security.

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