The Coimbatore Police in Tamil Nadu has come up with an initiative to foster trust and friendliness between police officials and college girls to help the latter deal with cybercrimes, bullying and stalking. Launched by Coimbatore City Police Commissioner V. Balakrishnan this week, it is called “Police Akka” (police sister) and its objective is to prevent crimes against girl students.
For this project 37 women officers have been selected who will visit all the 60 arts, science and engineering colleges in the city and interact with the girls. “The women cops will be like their sisters to the college girl students. Hence, we named the project as Police Akka,” said the Commissioner.
Initiating the project, Balakrishnan addressed a meeting of the police officers and representatives from the colleges. He said college management should provide space for these interactions in their premises which should be accessible to all the girls. “The police akka will visit each college once a week or once in 15 days or based on their work schedule for two to three hours and the girl students can meet the akka in person and discuss the issues.”
Officials informed that all the designated police officials who will be implementing this scheme will be middle-aged and trained in active listening and non-judgemental communication. Further all conversations between the students and officials will remain confidential.
Sharing details of the project, Coimbatore Deputy Commissioner of Police, R. Sughasini told indianexpress.com: “The designated police personnel will visit these colleges and hold interactions with the students to develop a strong rapport with them. There is a chance that some students are subjected to cyberbullying…Only one among 10 such cases are reported to cyber units because students are hesitant to approach the police. Some of them will not be comfortable opening up about their issues to their parents and it causes them mental agony. This initiative is aimed at addressing such issues.”
The DCP added: “The designated police personnel will provide the required counselling and the students can seek their assistance in dealing with cyber-bullying, stalking etc. This will prevent the students from taking extreme steps and if one or two students get their issues sorted, it will encourage other students also to approach the officers without any hesitation.”
Highlighting easy access to the officers, Balakrishnan informed: “The contact numbers of all the 37 women police officers will be displayed at the college girls’ hostels and prominent places on the college premises. Every girl should know the mobile number of the police akka.”
The initiative will be closely monitored by senior officials and further training will be provided if required.