"Hello, I'm calling from Delhi Police. Is the investigation officer properly coordinating your case?" Don't be surprised if you receive such a call. It could be from one of the area DCPs or deputy commissioners of police or joint commissioners of police, seeking feedback on your complaint.
In rare cases, a special commissioner, just one rank below the police chief, could also call.
These are among the systemic changes being adopted by the much-maligned Delhi Police following the public outrage over the Dec 16, 2012, gang-rape incident in Delhi.
As part of the initiative, senior police officers will make calls when the crimes relate to murder, kidnapping, attempt to murder and robbery. Topping the agenda is tackling crimes against women, including rapes.
"The move was started in the wake of complaints against investigating officers of not giving proper consideration to cases filed by the victims or their family members," a senior police officer told IANS.
The calls from the top cops started after Jan 16, a month after the young medical student was brutally assaulted gang-raped by six men. The woman died on December 29 last year in a Singapore hospital where she had been flown for specialised treatment.
Officers making these calls generally ask for the status of the complaints and about the behaviour of the investigating officer, or IO as he is generally called, while dealing with the case.
"We first send the complainants a feedback form and if they are not satisfied with the investigations, we phone them and assist them," Deputy Commissioner of Police Sindhu Pillai told IANS.
According to Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat, "It is a feedback exercise which is being conducted by the district police heads and officers with the rank of special commissioner of police." He added, "It is the duty of the investigating officers to complete the procedure and to file the first information report (FIR) in time. They also have to address the grievances of the complainants."
Delhi Police had faced widespread public anger over the gang-rape incident, forcing it to take several initiatives to make women feel safe in the capital.
Gyatri Sinha (name changed), a 22-year-old college student who had registered a case against a man who was harassing her, said, "Suddenly one day, I got a call from a police officer on my phone. He asked me about the status of the case and about the behavior of the police officer who is dealing with my case. I was happy that a senior police officer is trying to find out whether my case is being given proper consideration." She went on to say, "Such initiatives create a kind of trust in the system."