LAHORE: The Pakistan Railways Police (PR) intends to hire more female station house officers (SHOs) at various major stations, notably Karachi, in order to give female passengers a secure, pleasant, and safe atmosphere.

Dawn has learned that the PR police has begun looking for a few additional female police officers for future appointment as SHOs after receiving excellent feedback from the passengers about the recent appointment of the first-ever female SHO in Lahore (Mughalpura).

PR Police Inspector General (IG) Dr Rao Sardar Ali Khan told Dawn that some woman police officers are now receiving training, and as soon as they report back, we will assess their eligibility for the SHO role.

He stated that the ministry of railways had given the police permission to initially hire 593 constables, including some drivers.

He says that the police, in response to multiple events, have planned a scheme that will use cameras put in trains to monitor all major stations, passenger and freight trains, employees on duty, and other activities.

The IG added that the goal of this programme is to identify criminals who are going by rail. “We have also developed an e-police post app on the pattern of Punjab police, through which the record of suspects, vehicles, and criminals can be verified.”

In order to secure the safety and security of passengers, he said that the PR police has received assistance from the IT department and the Punjab Safe City Authority. The PR police chief announced that a mobile phone app named “Safar Saheli App” will soon be released, through which anyone requesting assistance would be instantly responded to, in order to safeguard women passengers and their children in particular, as well as other people in general.

The criminal record information of all LEAs in Pakistan has been integrated with the e-police post app, says a PR police spokesperson. He claimed that it would let the central command evaluate the effectiveness and location of the police officers and other authorities carrying out field duties.

“The app is designed in such a way that suspicious people on railway stations and moving trains can be easily identified, and it is developed with field requirements in mind to quickly help find information from massive data banks in a fast and efficient manner.” Through the app, the parked stolen/fake number-plated vehicles outside the stations would also be traced easily. Hence, it is an effective tool to apprehend court absconders and police absconders,” he explained in a statement.

He said as many as 20 police personnel were trained on how to operate the app from all divisions of railways police.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2022

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