LAHORE, June 30: Senior officers at the Capital City Police Officer’s (CCPO’s) office are ‘ignorant’ about the e-registration of first information reports (FIRs) in the 83 subordinate police stations of the Lahore division.
The officers also do not know any benefit or use of the system, according to a Punjab Ombudsman’s report titled `Computerisation system of Lahore Police has collapsed’ that has yet to draw the attention of the chief minister.
The report is based on the observations of two advisers to the Ombudsman who have visited the offices of the inspector general (IG), the CCPO and IT additional director besides three police stations.
Started as a federal government initiative in 2006 as part of an internationally funded project ‘Access to justice’ the Police Record and Office Management Information System (PROMIS) was to replace 25 registers at police stations and a simple computerisation of the present FIR registration that lacked documentation of the full investigative and prosecution process. Besides Lahore division, the PROMIS was made functional in nine other districts of Punjab in 2011. However, neither any training was imparted to the end users nor any skilled human resource was provided to these systems and no technical on-going support was available to ensure the smooth functioning.
Ironically, no budget allocations have been provided for repairs, replacement or maintenance.
During the visit to the CCPO office, an additional IG and three superintendents of police appreciated that because of the communication between their department and Office of the Punjab Ombudsman, for the first time the fact came into their knowledge that such an FIR registration system was functional in the police department as they were still getting information manually from the field officers working in the police stations which were quicker than what the system could generate for them. Also this system did not have any utility for the public according to the senior police officers at the CCPO office.
The additional director (Information Technology) at the IG office was well aware of regarding the system. The officer informed the advisers that the total project cost was around Rs1.4 billion, with an allocation of Rs428.85 million for Punjab Police. During perusal of the PC-1 of PROMIS, it was noticed that there was an allocation for training in the budget.
At the model police station of Defence, the two advisers found two terminals were working there: one was for Muharrar and other for the SHO. However, there was no printer available, although a print out option of the FIR was available as a function of the system. The one system visibly present in the Gulberg police station had not been in working condition for the last two months. However, FIRs from the police station were being entered currently into the system from the Liaqatabad police station. Earlier, they had been using the facility at Ghalib Market but now this was also not in a working order for some time.
At the Gowalmandi police station, the only system visibly available there was in a working condition and directly connected to the head office, being the first one in the series with point-to-point connectivity.