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LAHORE: After experiencing various patrolling models and failing to maintain those in the last several years, the Lahore police are mulling yet another mechanism on the pattern of the Istanbul police’s Dolphin model to counter persistent street crime.

The new system, which is expected to cost the provincial exchequer in millions or up to a billion rupees in terms of training and logistics, has recently been introduced by the Turkish police to the Punjab chief minister who showed his consent to replicate it in the city to fight crime, Dawn has learnt.

On Tuesday, a Turkish police delegation associated with the Dolphin patrolling system visited the Lahore DIG office to understand the working of the operations wing and its organisational structure and discuss the new patrolling mechanism.

The delegates informed the officers of the operations wing that a specialised wing of the Turkish police was using 1,250CC motorbikes to chase and catch criminals and the system was helping a great deal.

A police source told Dawn that the Dolphin model was being considered after the Mohafiz Force patrolling system (launched in 2007) came to an embarrassing end due to multiple factors.

The motorcycles-led Mohafiz Force and a fleet of patrolling cars which operated under the command of the Mujahid & Mobiles SP had been wiped out and now officials of police stations wearing Mohafiz uniform were part of patrolling duties.

According to a field police officer the idea to create the new patrolling force equipped with heavy bikes and modern gadgetry is not a bad one keeping in view the street crime but at the same time the functioning of the specialised investigation force is necessary to catch criminals and bring them to the stage of convictions.

The officer is of the view that the Mohafiz Force became redundant after the governments kept shifting it to the protocol duties and some of the officials were found involved in corruption.

Another field officer believes any mechanism with investment of huge resources will definitely bring the crime rate down but the real challenge for the police managers will be to maintain it in the long run.

He says unfortunately any specialised force raised by the police authorities in certain period of times was utilised for duties like protocol and other general policing assignments.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2014