LAHORE: The investigation police failure to prove equal to the task of curbing crime leaves citizens perplexed.

The admission has come in the form of a report the Lahore police have prepared regarding investigation of the registered crimes and submission of challans to courts. The disturbing figures show that the number of untraced cases has shot up. The cases pertain to both crime against persons and crime against properties.

The police experts have come up with a comparative study of the investigation wing of city’s six divisions in order to assess the status of the cases registered with the 84 police stations.

The report says the investigation wing of the Lahore police witnessed 10pc decline regarding the submission of challans of registered crimes to courts instead of showing improvement. It states that the investigation police of Lahore had submitted challans of 75pc of the total criminal cases in 2017 to courts concerned.

Officials blame it on shortage of resources

The ratio dropped to 65pc in 2018, leaving a huge chunk of 35pc of the total reported crimes untraced.

The figures shared in the report also expose the tall claims of the police high command regarding crime fighting by bringing about reforms and introducing the latest techniques.

According to the report, out of the six divisions of the investigation police in the city, Model Town division took a lead by submitting 74pc challans of the total registered cases in 2018, followed by 70pc by Civil Lines and Cantt divisions, 63pc by Iqbal Town division and 60pc by City Division.

The performance of Saddar Division’s investigation remained pathetic as it submitted 56 challans of the cases in 2018.

The division-wise performance of the investigation police have been assessed on the basis of the total number of the reported crime cases in 2018 and the previous untraced cases.

The report says the number of reported crime cases in 2018 was 76,186 and the old untraced cases were 17,547.

An official privy to the entire process said one of the major reasons behind this sorry state of affairs was the dearth of the human resource in the investigation police in Lahore. At present, he said, the investigation officers (IOs) were facing enormous burden as is evident from the fact that on average an IO is investigating 150 cases.

Consequently, the official said, the cases remained untraced for years. “Currently, the investigation police are facing shortage of 45pc staff in Lahore,” he said, adding that they were also lacking transport, funds and other necessary gadgets to help trace crime.

The official said frequent transfers and postings of IOs in early stage of the cases also disturbed the functioning. In one such case, says the report, IOs were transferred five times in the early stage of the investigation.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2019

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