Audit report: Delhi Police Pilot Project, All-women Police Control Room Vans
On 9 September 2016, the Delhi Police rolled out a pilot project to operate five All Women Police Control Room (AWPCR) vans in Delhi. To assess their performance and impact, the Delhi Police commissioned the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) to conduct an independent audit of the AWPCR vans.
The audit assessed the operational effectiveness of the five AWPCR vans based on the following parameters: performance in terms of volume, types of, and quality of response to public complaints and emergency calls, particularly with regards to women complainants, seen in comparison to other PCRs deployed in the same jurisdiction; general preparedness including personnel knowledge of relevant procedures and processes, understanding of their role, and commitment to their jobs; profiles and experience of the AWPCR van personnel; and feedback from complainants who had placed calls to the AWPCR vans.
CHRI employed a multifaceted approach for the audit. We conducted reviews of internal police documents and various data sets pertaining to the PCR unit. We held interviews and discussions with women personnel deployed in the AWPCR vans, police personnel deployed in mixed (gender) vans, and the key supervisory officers in the PCR unit. We conducted small public surveys in select locations where the AWPCR vans operate. Lastly, CHRI spoke with a small number of complainants who called the police for assistance and intervention of the PCR van.
The main finding of the audit is that the AWPCR vans were ineffective, both in terms of responding to public complaints and as a strategy for mainstreaming women in police. They handled far less number of calls than other PCRs in the same zone, did not receive positive feedback from the public, lacked confidence, and generally kept a low profile with very few proactive interventions. CHRI used this opportunity to also review the functioning of aspects of the PCR unit as a whole, particularly supervision, training and records maintenance which we found affected the performance of the AWPCR vans. In general, we found the unit to be well resourced and fairly systematic in its processes and practices. We did, however, find some gaps and put forward recommendations to improve its overall effectiveness.