Vibrant graffiti covered walls, eclectic chairs, colouring books, and board games — this isn't a description of a play school, but of the colourful corners one can now witness at a police station. For a variety of reasons, children are brought to the police station. To make their stay as pleasant as possible, Delhi Police has established "child-friendly centres" at 11 police stations around the Northwest area. The effort was started in order to address a few child-related concerns.
Usha Rangnani, Deputy Commissioner Of Police (DCP - Northwest), under whose guidance the centres have been set up shared, “We often rescue kids who have been kidnapped or get lost. They have to spend some time in the station while we trace their parents or arrange a shelter. Sometimes, kids are brought in to record their statements against a perpetrator, or are victims of abuse. Occasionally, juveniles who are held for petty crimes need to be counselled — all these require their presence in a police station. Children are impressionable, and we understood that changes had to be incorporated to make our stations safe, comfortable spaces.”
Toys, educational games, notebooks, colouring books, drinking water, and food can all be found in these kid-friendly areas. The fixtures and fittings are also child-friendly, and there is a female officer stationed in each corner to look after the children.
Dinesh Kumar, station house office (SHO) Model Town Police Station further added, “Complainants often come to the station along with their kids, and are seen speaking to the inspector while taking care of their child. Now, they can simply allow the child to play in the room designated for them, and interact with the police with ease.”
Furthermore, the centres will serve as a crèche for the children of police officers.