Hyderabad: Uttar Pradesh’s new Anti-Romeo Squad is now on a roll, cracking down on those who harass women on the streets. The Pink Police teams of Bengaluru too are roaming around to protect women.
But, the idea of a police initiative to protect women on the streets was originally started in Hyderabad by the TS police through the SHE team. Other states are just copying the idea. The idea was proposed by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao after he took over.
Some days after the infamous molestation case on a new year eve in Bengaluru, a senior police official from Karnataka called Hyderabad SHE team’s chief Addl. Police Commissioner Swathi Lakra. The officer wanted to know how to form a special squad as diligent as the SHE team.
Swathi, who had been heading the SHE team since its inception in 2014 was happy to help. The Pink Police teams of Bengaluru have copied the strategies of the SHE team. Karnataka police is not the only one who wanted to copy the methods of TS police’s anti-harassment squad. The police departments of UP, Kerala, Maharashtra and AP too copied them.
“A team of police officers from Maharashtra, AP and Rajasthan officially visited our team to study tactics. They joined our teams, collected details of equipments and learnt operation methods. Officers from Karnataka and Chhattisgarh called us to learn our techniques. The Women's Commiss-ion of Odisha also visited us,” said addl. police commissioner Swathi Lakra. The widespread publicity of the SHE team inspired the UP police and Kerala police to adopt its methods.
“The anti-Romeo squad of UP is a copy of our SHE team which was a successful original idea,” said IT minister K.T. Rama Rao.
After learning from the Hyderabad team, Maharashtra police launched their project in Nagpur and their officers fine tune methods by taking the cue from the Telangana SHE team.
The impact of the SHE team in Hyderabad was remarkable. The team arrested around a 1,000 men from the streets charging them with petty cases to cases under the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2013 in the last two and a half years. Around 43 were jailed and 500 were fined. The rest were counselled in the presence of their families.
“We analysed crime data to find the impact. There is a 20 per cent reduction in crimes against women in Hyderabad thanks to the SHE team,” said Swathi Lakra.
As other police departments are adopting their methods, SHE team officials now feel more responsible. "Yes, now we have a sense of accomplishment as this 'best practice in policing' has been adopted by others. We try to improve our methods," the additional police commissioner said adding that they always work on cases building strong evidence so that no innocent person is being booked....