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ISLAMABAD: The capital police have decided to create pages on the social media to facilitate the citizens in accessing its officers, especially the incharges of police stations, circles, zones and the district.

The decision was taken at a meeting held in the Central Police Office on Monday.

“There have been complaints that a majority of police officers do not remain available in their offices. The officers also avoid attending phone calls from the citizens,” said an official who attended the meeting.

The incharges - SHOs, SPs and SSPs - remain busy in official duties, especially on fields, so their availability in their offices round-the-clock is not possible,” he added.

“But a majority of them avoid attending calls from the citizens or replying to their SMS. As a result, the image of the police is not good,” he added.

Under such circumstances, these officers were asked to create pages on Facebook so the citizens can approach them easily.

Internet and computers are available in all the police stations and the offices of the senior officers. “It has been learnt that the officers personally use the social medial on their official computers and mobile phones.”

The officers were asked to create pages on Facebook and display their pictures there. For example, the SHO Aabpara would display his picture on the page of the Aabpara police station.

“Awareness will also be created among the citizens through these pages on different issues such as precautionary measures against crimes, information about criminals and any crime frequently taking place in any area.”

The contact numbers of all police stations, officials along with their photos and other necessary details would be mentioned on the pages.

The officers were asked to create the pages immediately and remain online and check their status frequently.

“But the success of the idea depends on the officers whether they personally check the pages regularly or ask their staff to do it,” he said.

Some officials were of the view that those who always ignored phone calls and messages from the citizens and avoided meeting visitors to their offices would be the main hindrance in the success of the idea.

The official said all the SHOs were also directed to remain in touch with the traffic police to ensure smooth flow of traffic in their respective areas.

“During the starting and closing hours of schools and offices, the SHOs should ensure their presence on the roads.”

During the meeting, the inspector general of the police was given a briefing about the crime situation in 2016 by the zonal SPs.

They claimed that a 25pc decline in crime had been recorded during the current year compared to 2015.

They said Islamabad would be the first district in the country to witness such a decrease in the crime rate.

The meeting was informed that 94 murder cases were reported in the capital during the year compared to 115 in the corresponding period of 2015.

There was one case of kidnapping for ransom against seven in 2015, as many as 17 robbery cases compared to 31 in 2015 and 280 street crimes and snatching cases against 338 in 2015.

Besides, 251 burglary cases were reported to the police in 2016 against 300 in 2015, 177 bike thefts compared to 263 in 2015 and 249 car theft cases compared to 369 last year.

Meanwhile, the police busted 97 gangs of robbers, 123 gangs of burglars and arrested 67 bike and car thieves while 3,164 proclaimed offenders and 778 court absconders were also held.

Following the National Action Plan, the Islamabad police conducted 246 search operations in 2016 while 726 people possessing illegal weapons were held and 72 Kalashnikovs, 62 guns/carbines, 616 pistols/revolvers and 14,400 rounds were recovered.

A total of 629 drug smugglers were held and 232 kilogrammes of hashish, 36 kilogrammes of heroin, two kilogrammes of opium and 55,014 bottles of liquor were recovered from them.

Published in Dawn December 27th, 2016