The Jaipur Police on Monday launched “women patrols” to prevent crimes against women in the Rajasthan capital. “We have constituted 26 teams of two policewomen each who will be deputed around the city to specifically deter and prevent crimes against women, such as eve-teasing,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Jaipur Headquarters) Gaurav Srivastava told The Indian Express.

These personnel will stand guard outside public places from 7 am to 11 pm on eight-hour shifts. The policewomen will be equipped with a customised baton, a walkie-talkie set and a first-aid kit, and will tour the city on a scooter. However, the teams will not be handed any firearms. These 52 police officers received special training for a 90 days, reported The Tribune.

DCP Srivastava said they will be deputed near parks in the morning, outside schools in the afternoon and near malls and markets in the evening. He added that they had identified vulnerable locations after conducting a thorough survey. Rajasthan Police Service officer Kamal Shekhawat will be the nodal officer for the initiative. “We have identified about 200 “street harassment” points in Jaipur where the likelihood of such harassment is higher. More points will be added with time,” he told The Indian Express.

Jaipur Police Commissioner Sanjay Agrawal said with this initiative, they aimed to deter crimes against women, not harass couples. “Police have an aim to contain crimes against women, not harass any boy or girl who are with each other with mutual consent. This will be fully ensured,” he told The Tribune.

Although the move is similar to the Anti-Romeo Squad launched in Uttar Pradesh by Chief Minister Adityanath, the Jaipur Police denied being inspired by it. The officers said the initiative has “nothing to do with Uttar Pradesh”. UP’s Anti-Romeo Squads have been at the centre of controversy with reports of youngsters being harassed at their hands. In March, a girl and her cousin were harassed by members of the unit. The frequent reports and criticism of the squads had led Adityanath to order them to not harass consensual adults socialising in public.