LAHORE: The recently launched Special Initiative Police Stations (SIPs) to upgrade police stations has brought about some relief as Lahore’s crime reportedly dropped during the first three weeks of November as compared to the corresponding period last year.

According to the official figures of the department, the first three weeks of last year’s November had registered a total 2,631 heinous crimes while this year’s same period reported 2,296, around 335 less than the incidents the previous year.

Police officers described it as a result of a strategy revised under the SIPS by identifying 230 hotspots of crime in Lahore and top 10 police stations, which were reporting high crime rate for the last many years. Secondly, they said, the supervisory mechanism helped to bring the crime rate down when the police high-ups activated the MDT set to check live locations of the police teams responding to the 15 emergency calls.

The control room set up at the DIG Operations’ office has made it mandatory for police to ensure their presence on the crime scene through live video calls besides updating the control room about their locations.

The police data claimed that Lahore reported 666 robbery incidents during the first three weeks of November this year, 274 less than 940 reported during the same period of 2022. Similarly, incidents of motorcycle theft dropped this November. According to the official figures, the decline was also witnessed in murder, robberies, car snatching, car theft and other categories of heinous/violent crimes in the city during the same period mentioned above.

Talking to Dawn, Lahore Operations SSP Ali Raza declared some newly revised strategies remarkable that helped in bring the crime rate down in Lahore, saying the improvement might last if the steps continued in the future. He said Lahore Operations DIG Ali Nasir Rizvi led many crucial meetings when Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Bilal Siddique Kamyana directed to break the status quo in the wake of crime rise.

“We identified 230 crime hotspots and top 10 police stations persistently reporting high crime,” the SSP said.

Most of the crime hotspots were marked in the rural area police stations located on the outskirts of Lahore, including Kahna, Raiwind City and Shahdara. The hotspots were also detected in the most visited markets, shopping malls and near the banks of the city and some densely populated localities.

The 10 most crime prone police stations identified were Nishtar Colony, Sattukatla, Kahna, Shahdara, Nawab Town, Islampura, Chuhng, Kot Lakhpat, Factory Area and Sabzazar.

Some other police stations were also highlighted as per the new strategies adopted by the operations police officers. The attendance was ensured through modern technology instead of depending upon the police officials, SSP Raza said.

At the identified hotspots, he said, the police personnel from Dolphin, police response units and the respective police stations were deputed for a specific period where the criminals used to target the citizens while patrolling was also increased.

“The strategy of live video calls also helped a lot to check the presence of the police personnel at the crime scene,” he said and added that the crime mapping of the hotspots was another initiative that brought fruitful results.

He further said the Lahore police also distributed details and lists of the most wanted proclaimed offenders who fall in “A” and “B” categories of heinous crime to all the 84 police stations to launch raids for their arrests.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2023

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