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No special PS for crime against women in Odisha, only 9.5% women cops vs 33% quota

Odisha figures among high crime prone states with 2nd highest crime rate against women. Representation of women cops in Odisha police hierarchy dismal

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has no special police stations for crimes against women & children, notwithstanding the fact that State has the second highest rate of crime against women in the country. In contrast, the country has a high of 258 such police stations.

Moreover, when CM Naveen Patnaik’s women empowerment pitch dominated and had become the theme of 2019 general elections, where he had vociferously advocated for more women representation in legislatures and executives, the big reality is despite having 33 per cent reservation for women in police forces, the actual proportion in Odisha stood at 9.48 per cent.

The glare on the gaps in Odisha’s women security and women in police has  been put on by the recently released report titled ‘Data on police Organistaion 2018’ by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD).

Why Odisha direly needs special police stations for crime against women & children?

As per the recently released NCRB report, Odisha ranked second in crime rate (94.5) against women in the country. Moreover, the State saw registration of 207 POCSO (protection of children from sexual offences) cases in 2017,  of which around 150 cases were rapes.

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High women crime prone states like Bihar, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana have special police stations for crime against women & children.

Moreover, an analysis of the NCRB report shows states without such special police stations have recorded higher POCSO cases nationally.

Since Odisha has the 5th poorest conviction rate of 7.4 per cent, and as the pendency is also high at 94.7 per cent, such special PS could have ensured timely completion of investigations and higher convictions.

On the other hand, women in policing figures in the state are  equally dismal.

As per the BPRD report, the total women in police force in Odisha stood at 5,373 as on January 1, 2018, which works out as 9.48 per cent of the total actual strength of 56,651.

Why the numbers look distressing here is Odisha has a policy of 33 per cent reservation for women in police force.

But the details are more revealing. Women representation in  superior supervisory ranks (DGP to DSP) in the State stood at mere 2.8 per cent, the proportion is 7.5 per cent in the immediate supervisory or investigating officer ranks (Inspectors to ASI) and 5.2 per cent in the constabulary (field staff).

In the State armed police, the women representation in the superior and supervisory ranks is nil.

This sub-analysis of women representation in the police hierarchies in the State shows women are not adequately represented in the superior supervisory and investigative realms of policing, and in tandem with no special police team or unit to focus on crime against women and children, which had a telling effect on women security as measured by the women crime rate.

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