Kolkata: Kolkata Police (KP) has stepped up efforts to ensure the safety of women in the city. It has decided to create a squad of 20-odd female officers called SHE, which will patrol on scooters to watch over women in places where they are likely to need help. The officers will be handpicked from across the force.
The project will be a first in Kolkata in terms of an all-women squad on two-wheelers. In 2014, female officers had been deployed as part of the Reinforce City Patrol (RCP) fleet posted at strategic locations to react quickly to street crime.
The officers to be selected for the squad will be ones who already ride two-wheelers. They will all be given new scooters for official duty.
The focus of the SHE project is on the surrounding areas of girls’ schools and colleges, lakes and shopping malls where the footfall of women is high, according to sources in Kolkata Police.
A senior police officer said a project like SHE would go a long way in making women feel secure, especially when they are out alone.
Kolkata currently has eight all-women police stations, one in each division under Lalbazar except the East division that was created recently. These police stations have been set up for effective and sensitive handling of complaints about crimes against women.
Comprising the force of female personnel of Kolkata Police are 113 sub-inspectors, 131 assistant sub-inspectors and 444 constables.
On the eve of International Women’s Day on March 8, another all-women patrol squad called Knightingale was launched in the South Division jurisdictional area of KP.