LAHORE: The Punjab police department has approved establishment of a new anti-organised crime agency/unit at the provincial level on the pattern of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

The CTD Punjab had been established in 2010 to eliminate terrorism activities across the province by replicating the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which had been operating since 1995 under the CID manual 1937.

Later, educated/qualified corporals were inducted in the CTD who were imparted training by the armed forces. These corporals were later deployed all over the province to perform their specially mandated tasks.

The-state-of-the-art gadgetry and equipment were provided to the CTD and its infrastructure was later further improved to raise it as one of the best law-enforcement agencies of the country.

‘Anti-organised crime agency’ to be run under separate chain of command

An official said the Punjab police’s current hierarchy had also proposed reformation of the Lahore Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) to expand its role to rest of the province.

He said the newly-proposed agency would deal with the heinous crime, including robbery, dacoity, kidnap for ransom, vehicle snatching/theft, blind murders, rape etc.

The decision was taken in this respect on recommendations sent by Sheikhupura Regional Police Officer (RPO) Dr Inam Waheed.

The official said Mr Waheed was assigned task by Inspector General of Police Punjab Aamir Zulfiqar Khan to prepare a draft to replicate the CIA to rest of the province following the reports that the CIA was just operating in the jurisdiction of the provincial capital.

He had been briefed that one of the major reasons behind the persistent surge in the crime against property across Punjab was the involvement of the inter-district and inter-provincial organised criminal networks.

The IG police was told that these gangs were using rest of the province as their hideouts where the CIA had no access to operate against them.

After the approval in the departmental meeting, the official said, the IG police directed the officers concerned to prepare a summary to move it to the provincial government for the creation of the unit initially named ‘anti-organised crime agency’.

According to the proposal, many slots would be created to run the new unit/agency by a separate chain of command of the police officers.

Like, a DIG-ranked police officer would head the proposed agency. The police department also proposed creation of new posts of regional and district police officers along with the appointment of SSPs, SPs and DSPs, the official said.

About the provincial capital, he said, a SSP-ranked officer would be appointed to head the Lahore office of the agency.

Though the anti-organised crime agency would not be authorised to lodge separate FIRs unlike the CTD, a standard operating procedure would be evolved to refer the cases of heinous crime to the agency by the police of the respective districts.

Meanwhile, the IG said the new unit would be part of the office of the additional IG police investigation Punjab.

The Punjab police chief said the proposed agency would ensure close follow-up of the registered cases across the province and would focus on arresting dangerous criminals through effective investigation.

He said another main objective of establishing a separate unit was to improve the quality of investigation.

The unit would also establish a repository of data pertaining to the hardened criminals of Punjab.

The repository would have complete profiling of hardcore criminals including names, photographs, family history, crime background, fingerprints, modus operandi, etc.

Another salient feature of the repository data was that it would also have investigation reports of the individual criminals besides the necessary particulars of their accomplices across the province.

All the respective district police officers would have an access to the data to get firsthand information to take action against the hardened criminals.

The repository would also have useful information regarding conviction rate and acquittal of the accused persons.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2023

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