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ISLAMABAD: The capital police will be conducting refresher courses for its investigation officers after their performance was deemed unsatisfactory.

According to police officials, the performance of investigating officers was often a source of embarrassment for senior officials including the inspector general of police (IGP) and the superintendent of police (SP).

“On a number of occasions, the superior courts have summoned these officers due to faulty investigations conducted by their sub-ordinates,” a police official told Dawn.

He said the offices of senior police officials, including the IGP, deputy inspector general of police, assistant inspector general of police, SP and SSP, were flooded with complaints and applications against investigating officers. He added that the majority of the complaints expressed concerns over the investigations being carried out and asked for an honest investigating officer to be appointed for the inquiry instead.

The refresher course will start next week at the Police Lines Headquarters Islamabad where senior police officers, including some from Sihala Police College, will deliver lectures. Separate groups of investigating officers, consisting of 44 officers each - two from each police station - will attend the three-day refresher course.

A briefing session was held at the Police Lines Headquarters in this regard in Islamabad on Tuesday which was attended by the investigating officers of all 22 police stations in the capital where senior officers expressed concerns over their performance.

The investigating officers were told that zonal SPs will monitor investigations in the future and will check investigation results every week. Circles’ sub-divisional police officers and station house officers will supervise investigations and will be responsible for daily progress in investigations.

A check-list was also prepared for the evaluation of investigating officers when probing cases and supervising officers have been asked not to give the officers investigating heinous crimes other duties such as security.

Another police officer told Dawn the capital police had established specialised units for investigating various crimes over the last couple of years. He added that the standard of investigations had also started to decline as has the performance of investigating officers.

He explained that the homicide units investigates murder incidents, the anti-car lifting cell looks into auto-theft and the Special Investigation Unit works on cases involving burglary, robbery and theft.

Investigations into other crimes such as fights, land grabbing, accidents, arms and narcotics cases are still conducted by investigating officers at all police stations, the officer said.

He said some of the investigating officers are good at conducting investigations but they only work when asked by seniors or in fear of another authority, such as the courts, he added.

A spokesperson for the police said the refresher courses will be conducted in order to improve the investigation process and ensure the officials approach cases in a professional manner.

He said IGP Islamabad Mohammad Khalid Khattak had directed for the classes to be conducted as there had been problems with the way various cases had been handled.

During the classes, investigation officers will be taught how to lodge an FIR with the application of the exact section of a law, departure for crime scenes, crime scene inspection, collection and preservation of evidence, connection of circumstantial evidence, investigating officer’s responsibility at the crime scene, safe packaging for its analysis etc, the preparation of witnesses before the recording of evidence, the proper arrest of the accused, interrogation at the crime scene and conducting physical searches among other things.

They will be taught how investigation is conducted during physical remand, the production of witnesses before court and applying for physical remand, judicial remand, recovery of weapons, recovery of case property, interrogation of suspects, precautionary measures at the crime scene, profile of the culprit, conducting identification parades, non-disposition of experts reports, forensic chemical examination, measures to prevent crime, interview and interrogation, detection of crimes via mobile SIMs and Geo Fencing, the spokesperson said.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2017