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KARACHI: Terming increasing street crimes a big challenge for police force, new Karachi police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh on Saturday launched a campaign to deal with the menace, asking citizens to send their complaints on a WhatsApp number for prompt action.

Additional Inspector General Amir Shaikh had on Aug 8 replaced former Karachi police chief Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Police Office, the new city police chief said that curbing street crimes would be his first priority as complaints of around 40 to 50 victims were being lodged at city police stations on a daily basis.

Accompanied by DIG Javed Odho and DIG Dr Amin Yousufzai, he said he was launching a campaign against street crimes immediately.

Asks citizens to forward their complaints on a WhatsApp number

He asked the citizens to lodge their complaints pertaining to street crimes on a WhatsApp number (0343-5142770).

He also said that complaints against presence of criminal elements in any area as well as an “undesirable” attitude of police with the people could also be sent to the WhatsApp number.

The police chief believed that the citizens would see “some concrete efforts” against street crimes within next 24 hours.

Dr Shaikh said that besides street criminals the police had decided to take action against proclaimed offenders and absconders on a daily basis.

He said the police had an updated list of criminals and during a meeting held on Friday it was also decided to seek help from other institutions.

500 commandos to be posted at 35-40 hotspots

“From now on, victims of injustices will not approach us … we [police] will approach them,” he said, adding that a help desk was being established to this effect.

He said that efforts were also being made to improve the response system of Madadgar-15 by providing more vehicles, motorbikes and manpower so that citizens’ complaints about crimes could be responded to in a few minutes.

Dr Shaikh later told Dawn that 50 mobile vans, as many motorbikes and 500 commandos from the Special Security Unit would be deployed at around three dozen “hotspots” in the city to curb street crimes and to immediately respond to people’s complaints.

He conceded that there were “five per cent” policemen who subjected citizens to an “undesirable” attitude.

He urged the citizens to come forward and lodge their complaints against such policemen, who would not be tolerated in the police force.

Vows to improve investigations wing

Talking about poor investigation of cases, the city police chief said that around 150 suspects were being arrested in the metropolis on a daily basis but most of them got released from courts within three days apparently due to faulty investigations.

He opined that another major challenge for the police was to get such suspects convicted from courts.

For this purpose, the investigation system would be enhanced professionally and prosecution would be strengthened so that repeat offenders could not get bail from courts, he added.

Dr Shaikh announced that SHOs would be appointed on the recommendations of the SSPs concerned.

Regarding agonising traffic jams in the metropolis, Dr Shaikh said that as the city police chief he would strive to improve the traffic system.

About security arrangements for the Independence Day celebrations, he said that over 13,000 policemen would be deployed in the city to maintain law and order.

He added that over 500 policemen would be deployed at the Quaid’s mausoleum only.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2018