Crime-busting Saudi female investigators now an ‘urgent need’
Women are currently employed in women’s prisons and as inspectors but there is a need to train women to work as investigators
Security and legal experts have said there is an urgent need to employ female investigators to deal with sensitive cases involving women, Al-Hayat daily reported.
Such cases include harassment and rape where detailed information is needed from victims, many of whom find it embarrassing to reveal such information to male investigators.
Women are currently employed in women’s prisons and as inspectors but there is a need to train women to work as investigators to allow for better and unbiased investigations, the experts said.
A security expert who requested anonymity said employing female investigators will help solve a number of issues that male investigators currently face. He pointed to a case where a woman refused to reveal any details of her abuse and harassment and investigators sought the assistance of a female inspector to act as a mediator.
Commenting on the matter, Shoura Council member Thurayya Al-Urayed said employing women as investigators is a necessity.
“Sometimes, police stations simply ignore complaints by women and consider them personal issues that men find it difficult to deal with. Women are often reluctant to complain to the police unless the situation they face becomes unbearable,” she said.
Al-Urayed mentioned the case of a father who allegedly abused his daughter till she died. The child’s grandmother had complained to police but they failed to investigate the matter.
“The child’s grandmother complained to the police multiple times of her son’s abusive behavior toward his daughter but the police did not document the complaints, nor did they bother to verify them. Had they done so, the child may be alive today,” she said.
Al-Urayed recommended setting up women’s sections in specialized security colleges to train and qualify women to work as investigators.
Legal consultant Ahmad Othman concurred and said there is a need to employ women investigators but only after they receive the proper training. “Their role should be confined to dealing with cases involving women and this will preserve the rights of women,” she said.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on May 28, 2014.