Kiosks hotline to build by Kolkata Police for women in trouble

The woman will have to enter inside the kiosk and press the SOS button and immediately she will get digitally connected with the local police station.

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New Delhi: Considering the recent incidents of women harassment in the city, the Kolkata Police has decided to develop hotline kiosks — a one-off project in the country — particularly for distressed women. A pilot project has already started functioning and very soon will be launched in various locations across the city.

The trial run of the project has already been initiated just opposite Alipore Zoo. The kiosks will be equipped with the latest electronic gadgets, including cameras, voice recorders and location trackers. There will be policemen who will help the woman in distress to register her complaint.

The woman will have to enter inside the kiosk and press the SOS button and immediately she will get digitally connected with the local police station. It will be a video connection. The duty officer will be able to see her and the entire process will be recorded. The version of the woman will be treated as her official complaint and she will not have to move into the police station to register her complaint.

“The officers, including one woman officer, will immediately rush to the location and take necessary steps to ensure the safety of the woman. As all the locations will have a direct connection with Lalbaazar — the Kolkata Police headquarter — everything can be monitored from there also. The Lalbaazar control can also give instructions to the local police station as well,” a senior police officer of Kolkata Police said.

“Though this has been created especially for the women, anybody can use the facility and the police will act depending on the gravity of the situation,” the officer added.

On Tuesday Akash Magharaia, deputy commissioner (DC) of South division and Arijit Sinha, DC, Traffic visited the kiosk to review the system. Magharia later informed that anybody in distress can access the kiosk hotline to seek help or report any crime using the SOS button.

“This kiosk has been set up on a trial basis. It is not operational. Today we went to check it. Some technical issues have been found which will be rectified soon. After the trial is over, such kiosks will be set up across the city,” Magharia said.

It may be mentioned that Kolkata has been declared the safest metropolitan city by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB).

The NCRB report of 2020, which has been published in September this year, states that the number of crimes committed in Kolkata has gone down compared to the figures of 2018 and 2019.

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