Rape count rises in Delhi

New Delhi, Jan. 18: About 706 cases of rape were reported in Delhi in 2012, the highest in the past decade.

The statistics have brought into focus how unsafe the national capital has become for women over the past few years.

A total of 572 rape cases were reported in 2011 as against 507 in 2010, 469 in 2009 and 466 in 2008.

The annual report presented by Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar today also highlighted a decrease in murder cases.

The police registered 521 murder cases in 2012 as against 543 in 2011 and 565 in 2010.

But crime against women is on the rise with cases of rapes and molestation increasing by 23.43 per cent and 10.65 per cent respectively last year. Molestation cases rose to 727 in 2012 from 657 in 2011.

Kumar said the "horrific" gang rape of a paramedical student in a moving bus on December 16 was the "turning point" in the history of Delhi police.

"It is not only a turning point and watershed incident of this force but also in the history of criminal justice system of India. The incident has the power and strength to bring about major changes in the way offences against women are dealt with by police, prosecution, courts and even medical teams," he said.

According to him the case has given a new direction to the criminal justice system of India.

"The society as a whole has been jolted and action taken has to be channelled in the right direction. From now on, we will be focusing more on women's safety," Kumar said at the annual news conference of Delhi police after observing two minutes silence in honour of the paramedical student who died on December 29.

The police chief also announced a slew of measures to instil confidence among women, some of which are:

Delhi police have made its helpline functional 24x7. Earlier, it used to operate till 8pm;

Police have to register complaints promptly. Jurisdiction issues can be decided later;

Every women police desk is being provided with a dedicated phone line. Most police stations have already been provided this facility;

Complaints from women to be recorded verbatim without any tutoring;

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