LAHORE: Inspector General of Police Rao Sardar Ali Khan has devised a new roadmap for the Punjab police for bringing about a qualitative improvement in service delivery.

It was drafted following an exhaustive analysis of current law enforcement scenario after feedback and input from all stakeholders.

A comprehensive set of nine operational guidelines containing short term, medium term and long term measures for achieving desired objectives of the “roadmap” has been issued by the Operations Branch of the Central Police Office.

Sharing salient features of the roadmap, Punjab Police Information Officer (PPIO) DIG Sajid Kiani said the decision to start “problem oriented policing” for each of the more than 700 police stations of Punjab was undertaken keeping in view the fact that every police station has its own peculiar problems which, if addressed properly, can bring about a quality improvement in the life of local populace.

Quality of First Response

Under new roadmap, the PPIO said, the Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP) is being mandated with the task of first response to improve and augment the capacity of local police for responding to emergency 15 calls.

Likewise, as a pilot project, body cameras will be used by the police officers performing the duties of first responders in Lahore and Rawalpindi. The pilot project of body cams, if proven successful, will also be extended to the rest of Punjab.

The “Feedback & Monitoring Cells” will be established at the district level to subvert the role of “tout maifa” operating on behalf of corrupt elements and preventing public access to front desks and get feedback of the callers/visitors.

The Punjab police is launching an online application whereby citizens can get their online e-tag issued before coming to a police station. This application will also be available for smart phones.

“Every e-tag issued in respect of a citizen will be flagged in respective dashboards of both the front desk and supervisory officers and will keep on flagging till the citizen’s matter is addressed by the front desk”, the DIG said.

Problem Oriented Policing Programme

For this, the DIG said, a third party survey will be carried out to ascertain issues and problems of each police station.

Once the distinct issues of every police station are identified, every SHO and district police head will be given a specified time frame of two to three months for addressing the said issues.

Timely Completion of Police Investigations

To achieve the said objective, two measures that will be undertaken as immediate measures include distribution of Investigative Officers (IOs) in police stations on the basis of registered crime.

Similarly, the other immediate measure that will be undertaken is the publication and display of the daily schedule for enquiries and investigations on the notice boards of respective police stations. This step has been taken to address a major complaint of citizens about them being summoned to police stations by the investigation officers (IOs) in connection with an inquiry or investigation and subsequently made to wait for long hours without their matter being addressed or in some instances the investigations being finalised without affording them an opportunity to give their defence.

Protecting the Vulnerable Segments of Society

DIG Sajid Kiani said the measures which will be undertaken on immediate basis included prevention of offence against the vulnerable segments through awareness, education, community engagement and pro-active police; and in the cases of crimes against women and children, Victim Support Officers (female officers) will be attached with each victim who shall remain in touch and provide assistance, including physically accompanying the victim during every stage of the case starting from registration of FIR, to investigation proceedings to trial in the court.

“Likewise, in medium to long term; a comprehensive surveillance regime will be launched for regular monitoring of the accused and suspects previously involved in offences against vulnerable segments,” he said.

Investigation in multiple cases of violence against women and child abuse have revealed that the offenders are either former convicts or known to be involved in such practices.

Moreover, in order to ensure quality police response for the vulnerable segments of the society at all stages, starting from complaint registration till completion of trial to prevention of such offences; dedicated cells for women, children and minorities will be established at all districts.

Increasing Outreach of Public Service Delivery Initiatives

Under the new roadmap, the set up of Police Khidmat Counters (PKCs) is being expanded from District Headquarters Hospitals to all Tehsil Headquarter Hospitals of Punjab for provision of MLC docket without going through the erstwhile cumbersome process.

Police Khidmat Markaz and Mobile Khidmat Markaz Vans are presently providing non-crime police services to citizens across the province at district headquarters.

Curbing Corruption at Police Station Level

Mr Kiani said all heads of district police have been directed to remove the officers having a bad reputation from field duties, transfer officers having long tenures in a particular police station or office, remove permanent police check posts except on provincial or district boundaries and ensure video recording of all temporary snap check points on an immediate basis.

The PPIO said all heads of district police have been directed to ensure availability of all field officers on fixed timings for public and arranging weekly open court by DPOs, SPs and SDPOs.

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2021

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