If we scan through the early history of women police it can be said that they consisted mainly of social service in which women were expected to meet higher standards for police employment. Unfortunately they received lower wages and were restricted to a special unit or bureau, and were assigned mainly to clerical, juvenile, guard duty and vice work1…
It was, of course, the same male police administration that had refused over the years to assign women to general patrol and there by had blocked police women's access to the required experience2. However this trend could not be continued for long and they had to give the opportunity to women police. Finally when women were given the opportunity, as a result of Federal law mandating equal opportunity regardless of gender or race, to perform general police work and serve on patrol, they demonstrated their fitness for police work.
Statistics point out certain facts about women police. In 2001, women accounted for only 12.7% of all sworn law enforcement positions in large agencies, 8.1% in small and rural agencies3, and 14.4% in federal agencies. Even though women gained an average of roughly half a percentage point per year within large police agencies from 1972 to 1999, there is increasing evidence that this trend is now reversed. For instance, the representation of women in large police agencies in 2000 and 2001 in reality declined from the year before i.e. from 14.3% in 1999 and 13.0% in 2000 to 12.7% in 2001. hence it can be clearly noted form these statistics that at the present rate, women will not achieve equality in large police agencies for several years to come. Obviously, if the similar trend continues barriers will continue to exist for women in the field of law enforcement4.
There are advantages and also a few disadvantages of women in police force. As a result there is a controversy over how the women's policing style differs from men's style and also if this difference have any impact on overall policing. Many times it was observed by many of the researchers that women in the police service itself are reluctant to discuss these differences in styles. This is mainly because they think this may push them back into specialist positions that may have tremendous prestige but often limit good promotional opportunities. Many feminist groups, predominantly the U.S.-based National Center for Women and Policing, a project sponsored by the Feminist Majority, an activist feminist group in the U.S., believe that women's difference is an advantage5. Hence, they consider that, in many of the areas of police activity, women are especially adaptable and can even perform much better than men.
There are certain unique works in policing that women can handle with more efficiency. For instance, policewomen are particularly suitable for working for special police prostitution groups, dealing with migrants in prostitution and trafficking in women within the larger cities. They are in fact becoming more and more experienced concerning working with police groups dealing with domestic violence and juvenile affairs. Policewomen are generally more acceptable to women and children who have been the victims of the misdeeds of men. In such cases girls and young children have more confidence in women.
Today crime prevention is much more important than punishing for a crime after it occurs. The field of crime prevention is becoming more significant to police agencies and here policewomen play their greatest role. Women police are also gifted in gaining the confidence of children and in identifying antisocial ...
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