ISLAMABAD: The capital police have requested the interior ministry to increase the number of CCTV cameras and manpower for the Safe City Project.
Talking to Dawn, an official of the police on condition of anonymity said officials of the Islamabad Safe City Project had sought an additional 4,000 cameras in the city.
“The Safe City Project was approved a decade ago and since then the capital has expanded and its population increased sharply,” the official said, adding at present 1,905 cameras are installed on different roads, highways, important and sensitive installations and markets.
They cover only 35pc area of the capital, the official said. Being outdated, majority of the cameras do not have night vision devices.
Cameras have not been installed on many markets, roads and entry and exit points, the official said. There are over 100 metalled and unmetalled entry and exit points besides dozens of ways in the wooded areas and nullahs which are used by criminals to enter the capital and escape without being noticed.
Furthermore, the interior ministry has been requested to increase manpower for the project, he said.
The official said due to staff shortage, the police officials in the field could not get updates regarding criminals.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the police said Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Afzaal Ahmed Kausar had directed all officials to curb car lifting incidents by taking assistance from the Safe City cameras.
A meeting was held to review a strategy to curb car lifting incidents and ordered a crackdown on car thieves. The meeting was attended among others by DSP CIA and the Anti-Car Lifting Cell in-charge.
The DIG (operations) directed for elaborate measures to ensure arrest of car thieves, curb auto-theft cases and monitor the activities of those involved in the crime and who have been released after completing their sentence.
He asked the officials to ensure effective patrolling in busy areas of the city besides employing the new technology of CCTV cameras.
During the meeting, officials concerned gave recommendations for curbing auto-theft cases.
They also informed the meeting that the Safe City Project office did not give productive and required information because of the shortage of cameras and staff.
Auto-thieves strike everywhere and at anytime in the capital, the officials said.
They used dozens of unfrequented roads to take the vehicles to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These roads have neither police presence nor CCTV cameras, the officials said.
After transporting the stolen and snatched vehicles to KP, they either sell them there or transport them to a neighbouring country or split them into parts, said the officials.
Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2021