IGP Mohammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan briefs Interior Minister Syed Ijaz Shah on body cameras on Thursday. — Dawn
IGP Mohammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan briefs Interior Minister Syed Ijaz Shah on body cameras on Thursday. — Dawn

ISLAMABAD: Five body cameras have been provided to police officials at pickets, the police said on Thursday.

A press release issued by the Islamabad police said that personnel are being equipped with modern technology to ensure effective policing, and efforts are underway to make the force a role model for other law enforcement agencies.

As part of measures taken towards modern policing, five body cameras have been provided to police at pickets.

These cameras will be connected to the Safe City system and will record interactions between citizens and police.

Cameras will be connected to the Safe City system and complaints about police officials will be resolved automatically

Interior Minister Syed Ijaz Shah was briefed on the function of body cameras by Inspector General of Police Islamabad Mohammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Waqaruddin Syed.

They told him that the Islamabad police has purchased 10 body cameras with its own resources, of which five have been provided to officials deployed at pickets following training.

The press release stated that the recordings from these cameras would keep all parties involved – police officials, members of the public, suspects, witnesses and bystanders – honest and allow them to gain some confidence in one another by knowing that anything anyone says about the interaction can be verified.

The cameras will be connected to the Safe City system and several complaints about police officials, especially those serving at pickets, will be resolved automatically.

Camera records will be kept on a daily basis with the office of the zonal superintendent of police.

The remaining five cameras will be provided to police within two days, once their training is complete.

IGP Khan said that more cameras will be provided in the next stage to all police officials deployed at pickets, as well as to patrolling officers and duty officers.

Mr Shah praised the police’s step and said such technology should be introduced at the police station level.

He said it would help address public complaints about police officials’ attitudes and curb corrupt practices.

Body cameras are a part of the police uniform in many developed countries, police officers said, and are used to record police action and events along with their interactions with people.

These recordings are also used against suspects in court, they said.

The officers said the decision to equip officials with cameras was made in light of complaints from the public about police officials misbehaving at check points. The cameras will live stream to the Safe City headquarters, and will address such issues.

They said they would also identify those who misbehave with the police and level false allegations against them.

They will also allow officers to check the locations and alertness of officials wearing the cameras.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2020