With a fleet of over 1,000 vans, around 850 are on the ground.
New Delhi: Grappling with the severe crisis of manpower, Delhi’s PCR van unit, which is considered the national capitals’ backbone, is struggling to cater to a population of over nine million. With a fleet of over 1,000 vans, around 850 are on the ground. Though according to a senior police officer, the number of PCR vans guarding the city streets, nook and corners are balanced in number, the department doesn’t have enough number of drivers for these PCR vans.
According to a senior police officer, which part of the department doesn’t see staff crunch? “There are two aspects of staff crunch. One is the physical number where we have tried to reduce the vehicles not being deployed because of lack of manpower to almost zero now because of better management. Some of the vehicles are under repair and the staff that was deployed there has been shifted to the operational units for maximum utilisation of manpower. I do feel the shortage of staff in terms of women police staff or as PCR van drivers.”
A PCR van, which is the first emergency response vehicle, is not staffed by women, though it was recommended earlier. When the calls are concerning sexual assaults or accidents involving women, the mobile units need to have a woman staffer in the police patrol cars.
According to another police officer, at present, there are reportedly 240 women officials posted in Delhi police’s patrolling network.
A PCR van needs three personnel — a driver, an armed police personnel, and one person in charge. Thus, operating 850 vans in four shifts, including the reserve shift, requires around 10,200 personnel. At present, the entire unit has a total strength of around 7,800 personnel, out of which around 400 man the communications department, which also runs 24x7.