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HYDERABAD, June 26: The Sindh government has given approval to the establishment of a command and control centre in Hyderabad on the pattern of Karachi to help curb rising crime in the second biggest city of the province, according to Hyderabad region’s deputy inspector general of police Mohammad Akram Naeem Bharoka.

About 500 CCTV cameras would be installed atop trade centres and at sensitive spots across the city under the project which would cost Rs250 million, said the official. Work on the project would be completed within three months.

Speaking to members of the Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) and journalists during a visit to the HCCI on Wednesday, Mr Bharoka said that law and order problems were rising in Hyderabad like other cities of the country. Criminals came to the city because of its proximity to Karachi, he added.

He said that it was unfortunate the police force was still working under the outdated 1861 Act. Police must be trained to make use of modern equipment and technology to curb rising crime, he said.

He said that 15 Madadgar emergency police service would be made proactive in the city to provide immediate rescue service to people. The department was taking measures to provide training to police on modern lines to enable it to ensure protection to people’s lives and property, he said.

Mr Bharoka said that the Sindh government had assured the city’s 15 Madadgar of 40 mobile vehicles to help it control crime.

Total strength of police force in the region was 20,000. Of them 20 to 25 per cent policemen performed duty as VIP security while there were on average 15 to 20 policemen in each police station, he said, adding that all patriotic Pakistanis, including judges and police offices, faced threats to their lives in the wake of rise of terrorism.

About the city’s chronic traffic jams, he said that police would establish a complaint cell equipped with the computerised system for verification of traders. The cell would have representatives of HCCI so that traders’ problems could be solved immediately, he said.

He said that station house officers (SHOs) should register FIRs for all crimes. It did not go against the department or the SHO concerned if a large number of FIRs were filed in his area; on the contrary, release of funds depended on entry of FIRs, he said.

He directed SSP Saqib Ismail Memon to hold monthly meetings with the members of the HCCI to get to know their problems and resolve them immediately.

HCCI president Goharullah said that businesspeople faced a host of problems in the city while an HCCI member Mohammad Iqbal Qureshi advised police to frame a proper strategy for eliminating crimes.

He said that a few days ago, former senior vice president of HCCI Mohammad Madni and his family were robbed of valuable belongings by bandits who barged into their home. Similar incidents took place across the city day in and day out, adding to frustration among the business community, he said.

He said that meetings with police were held routinely but they did not come to fruition. If the situation persisted, the business community would take decide to take its own course, he said.