Mission safer Mumbai

WHILE 26/11 exposed lack of intelligence network, Azad Maidan riot laid bare security forces' lack of reach. Little confidence in police & a sharp rise in rapes threaten to mar Mumbai's image. However, if a slew of projects take off, 'maximum city' may become 'safe city' again

Squads for women's safety

Special squads have been created in each police station. These will solely focus on the menace of eve-teasing and molestation at crowded places. The police have also launched campaigns against youngsters indulging in such acts outside colleges, as well as drug addicts on sidewalks and in subways, who harass women returning home from work late at night. Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said such campaigns will continue. To ensure speedy action on crimes against women, police have decided that the zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police will oversee such cases and the investigation will be time-bound. The idea, according to the police, is to send out a strong message that serves as a deterrent for others.

Focus on Training

In one of the first meetings after the Delhi gangrape case, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan specifically focused on the aspect of training the police force. This year, while the curriculum will see some changes at the academy-level, senior IPS officials confirm that cops at police stations will be provided on-the-job training on various issues, including how to handle sensitive cases. The training will follow a more issue-based approach than one based on curriculum.

Anti-Terror integration

For the first time, Mumbai Police have taken a preventive approach to tackle terrorism by integrating Special Branch with local police stations. A designated team from each police station will scour the areas in its jurisdiction to check for background of new tenants. In the recent terror probes, it came to light that suspects rented spaces in slums as well as residential complexes and blended with the society before moving to execute a terror acts. The new anti-terror cell will function as the intelligence wing of police stations, with one constable appointed to "study the behaviour" of new faces in old localities. The first batch of such officials has undergone training and is expected to start collecting ground intelligence from January.

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