Universities should constitute a ‘campus safety team’ to apprise students and faculty about the latest acts and programmes on women’s safety as well as a dedicated campus police force to work with them, a committee set up by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal recommended.
The report also recommended installing a helpline in buses directly linked to the police control room and providing vending zones so that hawkers do not encroach on pavements.
“Women’s Safety in the National Capital Territory of Delhi: A Report” was released on Friday on the basis of findings submitted by the study group constituted last year.
The committee comprised Sanjay Baniwal, Special Commissioner of Police (Women Safety, Airport and Modernisation) and eminent professors, psychologists and experts in areas related to women, transport, urbanisation and infrastructure.
It was set up to identify the underlying reasons for the increasing rate of crime against women.
The report made several recommendations after analysing how unsafe women feel in Delhi at different places. The report also recommended certain action points for the police.
“The nature of the response that women receive when they move law enforcement agencies often leaves them disheartened. The responses are largely steeped in patriarchal assumptions, involving victim blaming,” it said.
Apart from recommending interaction with community with a greater focus on women, the report suggested the appointment of victim service workers attached to police stations and recruitment of more women by conducting drives in colleges and universities of Delhi.
“Recruitment of personnel deputed to the cells of crimes against women should be on the basis of their attitude and aptitude and personnel from diverse social and cultural backgrounds should be placed in the units to combat violence against women,” it said.
The report also stressed on educating and training police personnel in the use of “specialised tools to conduct risk assessment” and to ensure that there was no victim blaming.
It also suggested that MOOC (massive online open courses) prepared by universities and NGOs, drawing from sociology, criminology, gender studies should be there to certify and train personnel from time to time.
The report also pitched for increased police patrolling by women personnel outside schools and colleges and follow-up mechanism for helpline calls about sexual violence or assault should be introduced.
“There should be presence of women police in the resettlement colonies to help build confidence of girls and also boost their attendance. Police patrolling in winter months should be scaled up as the streets get deserted due to foggy conditions,” it said.
It recommended action points for universities and colleges which recommended the phasing out of “single sex schools for boys” and greater focus on outdoor activities involving girls and boys.
Universities should constitute a campus safety team to interact on a regular basis with the faculty and students to apprise them of the latest acts and programmes on street and women’s safety, it said.
It also pitched for a dedicated campus police force that can be familiarised with the campus and work with students and faculty.
For improving the state of public transport and making it safer for women, the report said a “between stops” programme could be introduced on public buses, where women passengers could ask for the bus to be stopped closer to their homes and not only at prescribed bus stops.
The report was submitted to Baijal who issued directions to form department-wise sub-committees to be headed by principal secretary (home), Delhi government, on specific actions to be taken.
He also directed for overall supervision and periodical review by the Home Department on all actions to be taken by the departments and organisations concerned in a time-bound manner.