New mobile app, helpline soon for women safety in Gurugram: Police commissioner KK Rao

KK Rao, who took over as the commissioner of Gurugram Police on June 20, is a man of ideas. In the three weeks that he spent at the top post thus far, Rao hopped pubs in plainclothes to bust traffickers, sat on the stairs of Metro stations to observe unruly autorickshaw drivers, rode a scooter to colleges to keep an eye on ‘roadside romeos’ and walked around city borders with his intelligence staff to detect chinks in policing. Rao, who has been posted in Gurugram for the first time since he joined the Indian Police Service in 1996, says he is focused on checking crime with the right strategies and hands-on leadership

What is your assessment of the law and order situation in the city?

The city has expanded a lot and there are many challenges, but the city’s force has the dedication and expertise to deliver results — provided the work is strategised. That is my primary role. A majority of the trouble in the city is due to vehicle thefts, crime against women and the unruly traffic situation. So when I took over, I decided to work towards changing this situation. I want to make Gurugram a secure city, where women can venture out anytime and feel safe on the roads.

The police have conducted raids in clubs and bars on MG Road. Are there any illegal activities happening there?

Before coming to the city, I had heard about incidents on MG Road, and the illegal activities taking place in some of the clubs. I also heard that families avoided visiting MG Road late in the evening and women felt unsafe on this two-kilometre stretch. I decided to do a reality check. So, I, along with the intelligence team and other officials, visited over a dozen clubs. I was shocked to see what was happening there. There were some women who were openly soliciting business, and owners were also involved. We took prompt action, and since then, no incident has been reported from that area.

But the club owners allege that they are being unfairly targeted.

I have no enmity with club owners. But I have witnessed illegal activities there and have even recorded a few clips as evidence. They are now crying foul as their illegal business has taken a hit.

Is MG Road the only place where clubs are allegedly involved in trafficking?

Our teams are keeping a sharp eye on all clubbing hotspots like CyberHub, Sohna Road and Golf Course Road, apart from other areas. No one in the city will be allowed to violate rules, and strict action will be taken wherever such activities take place. These establishments have to ensure the safety and security of guests, and ensure that the image of the city does not take a hit.

What steps have you taken to reduce crime against women?

We are launching a mobile application called Durga Shakti this week to ensure women can report cases of harassment, molestation or eve teasing. Six police vehicles will be stationed near colleges and schools. Five women police personnel will be deployed in each vehicle, and prompt action will be taken on each complaint. A new helpline number will also be launched for the safety of women.

Is crime against women a big challenge?

It is. But many times, cases are registered on the basis of allegations, which are later found to be false. I have directed my officials to file counter cases against people registering fake cases, under Section 182 (false information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person) of the Indian Penal Code. A separate inquiry will be conducted in cases that are cancelled by the courts.

Traffic is a major problem in Gurugram. What are your plans to decongest the roads?

I have increased police visibility on roads. Four riders are deployed on each stretch. We are mapping the traffic situation. The traffic police have shown major improvement in controlling the movement of vehicles across the city. In the last 30 days, jams have rarely been reported, except those due to accidents or breakdown of vehicles.

Are you in touch with the police of neighbouring cities for checking crime in the NCR?

We are coordinating with our counterparts from other states and regular meetings are organised between the crime teams of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. We are sharing details of wanted gang members and suspects. Recently, we arrested nine wanted criminals who had been on the run for 13 years. The intelligence network has been expanded; there is an enhanced focus on both technical and human information.

The new police recruits are more educated and tech-savvy. How will this help in better policing?

The communication skills of the new constables — since they are well-educated and technology savvy — are better. We utilise their skills in the cyber cell, the economic offences wing and to ease the traffic situation in the city. They can converse well with complainants and deliver good results — a major problem earlier. There is a drastic change in feedback from the public.

What is the difference in public feedback?

Earlier, residents complained of police personnel’s rude behaviour and of their lack of knowledge, but since the new personnel have joined different wings, the negative feedback has reduced. People have told us that the new recruits interact with them better, as they have better language skills. Also, they are better trained at handling computers and are able to deal with complaints in a more efficient manner.

What is the reason for the number of cyber crime cases increasing in the city?

In most cases, gullible victims do not take necessary precautions. Despite several warnings by the police as well as banks, naive people willingly share their bank details, CVV numbers, and OTPs over the phone. If people stop doing this, 80% of cyber fraud cases will not happen at all.

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