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LAHORE, July 10: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has constituted a committee to examine periodic increase in police strength keeping in view the current strength and requirements of the province, it is learnt.

The committee will examine the situation keeping in view rapid commercialisation/business activities and urbanisation throughout the province.

The recent decision has come in the aftermath of proposals floated by different field officers of Punjab police to the IG Office regarding shortage of police strength even as per formula of Police Rules 1934.

According to a letter dated July 8, Punjab Inspector General Javed Iqbal directed the additional IGs of counter-terrorism department, special branch, traffic, Punjab highways patrol and training, elite police force, regional police officers, city police officers and Punjab constabulary commandant to furnish information on the enclosed proforma regarding every unit of region/district/organisation by July 14 in the light of the CM’s decision.

The letter also asked the field officers to personally examine and ensure that each and every additional requirement is justifiable before forwarding it to the Police Headquarters till specified date.

The proforma dispatched to the field formations requires the existing strength, requirement as per Police Rules in the light of crimes and population, additional requirement due to commercial/business activities and urbanisation, additional requirement due to security circumstances, requirement due to shift system and weekly holidays, requirement due to establishment of new unit, total requirement, shortage and remarks/justification.

A senior Punjab police officer, who researched on the existing formula of police strength in proportion to the population and crime, told Dawn that keeping in view approximately 85 million population of Punjab and 170,000 police force, the ratio stood at one police officer for 529 citizens which was even more than ‘1 officer for 450’ formula described by Police Rule 2-2 in 1934.

He said there was one officer for 265 citizens in Turkey and one for 336 people in East Punjab (India) having population of around 27 million and police strength of 80,000 officials.

The official said the world’s modern-day formula, which is implemented in most of the countries, was one officer for 250 citizens.— MUHAMMAD FAISAL ALI