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West Bengal Police Rescue Women from sex traffickers, Raising Funds to help them Make a New Life

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A 16-year-old girl stands inside a protection home on the outskirts of New Delhi, Nov. 9, 2012. She was rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which rescues victims of bonded labor. In the state of West Bengal, police officers are helping rescued women to make a new life. VOA

Police in the Indian state of West Bengal are going beyond the call of duty by raising funds for the women they rescue from sex traffickers to help them get back on track.

“The girls are hardly literate, have no access to bank loans, and government schemes are not enough to sustain them in the long run,” said police officer Chandra Sekhar Bardhan, who is spearheading the program in eastern India. “We had to do something, even though it did not fall in the realm of our duties.”

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The scheme, the first of its kind, began this month, with 22 rescued women singled out for rehabilitation. Police then hope to reach out to 100 more women and create a model to replicate across the region.

Police tailor the aid to the individual women, asking firms to fund their needs as an act of corporate social responsibility. One of the women in the first group wants to set up a sewing business, another to drive her own taxi — anything rather than return to a life of poverty and unemployment.

Green pasture for traffickers

Of an estimated 20 million commercial sex workers in India, campaigners estimate that 16 million women and girls are the victims of sex trafficking. They are mostly trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labor and child marriage.

The South 24 Parganas district where the project began has seen a steady rise in crime against women, with police recording a jump of more than 80 percent in the number of abductions between 2010 and 2013.

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“Due to poverty and backwardness, the area has always been a green pasture for traffickers,” said Subhasree Raptan, coordinator of nonprofit Gorabbose Gram Bikas Kendra, which helps trafficked victims and is supporting the pilot project.

Raptan said the problem grew far worse after cyclone Aila in 2009, displacing more than a million people in the region.

No job, no chance

When victims are rescued from traffickers, they usually return to poverty, a dysfunctional family life and no job.

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Work is key to a new life, and the first group of women include aspiring seamstresses, two women who want to run a stationary shop and another who wants to drive her own taxi.

“I did not know anything about the extent of human trafficking until I was posted to this region and came across the case of a 14-year-old victim, who had been trafficked, abused and dumped in a hospital,” said Bardhan, the policeman leading the project. “Now the program will run as long as the problem persists.” (VOA)

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Use of Information Technology Can Save Police Personnel from Death in Line of Duty

The use of IT by police increases the occupational safety of police officers in the field and reduces deaths and assaults against police officers

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Information Technology
The use of Information Technology to learn more about potential suspects improves the likelihood that police can make an arrest without violence. Pixabay

The use of information technology by law enforcement agencies can significantly cut the number of police personnel killed or injured in the line of duty, reducing violence as much as 50 per cent, says new research.

People haven’t previously known much about the impact of IT on police safety, because relatively few departments used it until recently and there hasn’t been much research on the topic.

“The use of IT by police increases the occupational safety of police officers in the field and reduces deaths and assaults against police officers,” said Paul A. Pavlou, dean of the CT Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

Pavlou and Min-Seok Pang of Temple University used data from the FBI, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and the US Census to build a dataset correlating IT use and reported violence against law enforcement from 4,325 US police departments over a six-year period.

The analysis determined extensive use of IT by the police could cut violence against law enforcement between 42 per cent and 50 per cent — amounting to between six and seven fewer assaults or deaths for an average-sized police department.

For large urban departments serving more than 1 million people, relying on information technology could mean up to 199 fewer assaults or deaths, said the study published in the journal Decision Support Systems.

The dataset focused on the use of information technology in three areas: Crime intelligence, crime prediction and crime investigation.

Information Technology
The use of Information Technology by law enforcement agencies can significantly cut the number of police personnel killed or injured in the line of duty, reducing violence as much as 50 per cent, says new research. Pixabay

The use of IT to learn more about potential suspects improves the likelihood that police can make an arrest without violence, the researchers said.

Discovering that a suspect is likely to be armed, for example, can lead police to don protective gear.

ALSO READ: Use of Robots in the US Increases Tremendously

The finding is also applicable to other types of workplace safety, including those involving factory workers, chemical plant employees, truck drivers and other high-risk occupations. (IANS)