Mumbai: After hand-picking teams of police to train them to tackle child abuse cases, now a special unit of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) has been formed at all the 94 police stations in the city. The special unit of POCSO will comprise four officers and four constables including Women Police Constable (WPC).
“Government’s schemes related to POCSO Act have been briefed to all the officers who underwent training. The team of eight policemen including four officers and four constables viz one Police Inspector (PI), one Assistant PI, two Police Sub-Inspectors (PSI) and four constables including women will be the part of the POCSO unit at each police stations.
“The roster of these officers will be made to ensure that at least one member of the POCSO unit is present at police station. With the formation of POCSO unit at all the police stations, the detection as well as conviction rates are expected to go up,” said a senior officer from Mumbai police.
According to National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data, total 59,072 cases under Sections of POCSO Act were registered in 2016 in Mumbai. The corresponding data for 2015 and 2014 were 66,676 and 59,838 respectively. Based on incidence/ percentage share in 2016, Mumbai ranked third after Delhi and Bengaluru.
The initiative to start POCSO unit at police-station level has been taken by Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar to curb the child abuse cases. During training session the officers have been asked not to take the accused and survivor in the same police van for conducting their medical examinations.
If the victim is unable to come to the police station, a team from POCSO unit will visit his/her house in plain clothes to record the statement. “Since the victims in POCSO case are children who are left petrified after the incident. Our trained officers advised to visit the house of traumatised child victims in plain clothes to win their confidence and talk to them at length about the case,” said another officer. Besides all these stern measures, certain other precautions like where the victim should sit in the court on the day of hearing have been clearly instructed as most of the time the victim faints inside the courtroom.