KARACHI: Sindh police has raised demand for an increase in its current force for the metropolis which is smaller than many of its counterparts in some large cities of the world and even lagged behind Lahore, a much small city than Karachi, says a report.

The report titled ‘analysis of impact of targeted operation in Karachi’ the Sindh police regularly prepares for the senior authorities of Sindh government and Islamabad, promises that increase in the force will render the targeted actions against criminals and militants more effective than what the operation has achieved over the past nine months, it emerged on Sunday.

The report has a separate section dedicated to the current police strength in the metropolis which compared the force’s size with its counterparts in several large cities of the world and concluded that the police strength in other cities was highly better than in Karachi, which even lagged behind Lahore, a city with half the population of Karachi.

The report shows the city has a total of 26,647 policemen but it has only 14,433 policemen available to maintain law and order and guard the lives and properties of more than 18 million people of Karachi.

Some 8,541 policemen, the report says, are deployed for security purposes and 3,102 personnel are separated for investigation of criminal cases. The breakup of the force on security shows some 6,127 policemen are hooked to Security-I and II, 204 are deployed at the Chief Minister’s House, 119 at the Governor’s House, 474 reserved for courts, 767 in Foreign Security Cell, 708 in Muhafiz and Madadgar-15, 129 in Anti-Encroachment Cell and 13 in Private Security Cell. “The 14,433 personnel are being deployed in two shifts – each spans 12 hours a day,” it added.

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Giving comparison with other large cities of the world, the report says London has double the number of policemen in the city with a healthy ratio of 1 policeman for 152 people.

Similarly, the strength of civilian security personnel in New York is one policeman for 237 people. The situation in the neighbourhood is even much better when the figures – as given in the report – show that Indian capital, New Delhi, too has a healthy ratio of one policeman for 291 people.

Furthering its argument, the report says even Lahore, the second largest city of the country, has a ratio of one policeman for 337 people. Karachi’s total police strength gives a ratio of 1:700 and it shoots up to 1:1,250 if more than 11,000 policemen are separated who have been deployed for VVIP security and investigation purposes.

According to Police Rules’ chapter-2, the total strength of police for watch and ward should not ordinarily exceed one constable for every 450 inhabitants. A similar standard is employed internationally, which requires 222 policemen for 100,000 population. “Whatever we are doing is hugely phenomenal given the fact that we are immensely short of the required number of policemen and besides, we are regularly being unfairly tagged among the 10 most corrupt police forces in the world,” said a senior police official who attended some high profile briefings regarding Karachi operations.

“We have requested the government for an increase in the force for the watch and ward purpose but it seems it needs ages for our demand to be accepted,” he added.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2014

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