New Delhi| Colourful rooms with toys and children's books could soon be seen in police stations in the national capital as part of efforts to have an exclusive child -friendly corner to put at ease young victims, survivors and crime suspects.
Delhi Police is collaborating with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and UNICEF, which will help them design a set of guidelines for the proposed plan.
An entrance and exit separate from the police station, plain clothed policemen, mandatory deployment of women police personnel, toys, colourful rooms and cartoons are some of the suggestions discussed for the child "thanas".
A meeting with ACP-SJPU (Special Juvenile Police Unit) from all 13 districts, NCPCR officials and a UNICEF representative was held last week.
"We have instructed all the districts to identify police stations where we can have a child-friendly corner. We will first set up a model police station and then replicate it in one police station in each of the districts," said Inspector SS Malhan, Special Police Unit for Women and Children.
The initiative is likely to be launched in February.
"In case of a situation where a child is badly treated, his or her first point of contact is police. It is important therefore to sensitise police about what should be their response when a child comes to them so that children do not dread them.
"The fear needs to go. These special police stations will be a step in that direction," said NCPCR Chairperson Stuti Kacker.
According to NCRB data for 2015, in terms of crimes against children, Delhi was at fourth place after Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
UNICEF has helped several states like West Bengal, UP, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in setting up child-friendly police stations.
Delhi Police also carries out a youth-centric programme called "Yuva" as part of which police personnel engage with underprivileged youngsters and play sports with them, help them get vocational training and also assist with employment opportunities.
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