New Delhi saw an 18.3 percent increase in crime against women in 2014, with rape cases increasing 31.6 percent, said the police in an annual briefing on Friday with reporters. Police commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi said that the force will introduce plans to reduce crimes against women, including training every woman in New Delhi self-defense and increasing policing.
In all, 14,687 penal code crimes against women were reported in the 12 months leading up to Dec. 15, Bassi said at the annual briefing. That figure was up from 12,410 in the previous year. Of the incidents reported in 2014, 2,069 were rape cases, up from 1,571 reported cases in 2013. There were 4,179 molestation cases, 1,282 harassment cases, and 147 dowry deaths in 2014, compared to the previous year’s reported 3,345 molestation cases, 879 harassment cases, and 137 dowry deaths. These figures were released the same day ride-sharing service Uber drive Shiv Kumar Yadav made his second appearance in court for allegedly raping a female passenger last month.
"We appeal to everyone to join hands with us so that every woman in Delhi gets trained in self-defense. I want every woman to have a brown belt in judo," Bassi said at the press conference. He said that the Delhi police plan to map out the city to choose areas from where they can teach women self-defense.
However, the commissioner said that the reported crime numbers spike doesn't necessarily indicate that the city was becoming more dangerous for women, but rather highlighted that women are increasingly forthcoming about reporting crimes committed against them. "More cases are being reported now as women feel more confident about approaching us," Bassi told reporters, but added that both “society and police’s mindset needs to change” for women-related crimes to be successfully reported and resolved.
The city’s police have set up women’s help desks in police stations in recent years, and Bassi said that the police have received an additional 36,284 complaints on other issues so far. The force has also been trying to be more sensitive in the handling of rape cases and women’s needs in such situation in the last two years, including special training of its officers or trying to attract more female police recruits, Bassi said. He also added that the city police have managed to solve 62 percent of all reported crimes against women within a week.