Post-Eid week remains calm in Punjab

IGP holds meetings to discuss the performance and role of Dolphin Squad


Muhammad Shahzad June 17, 2019
A file photo of Punjab police. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Punjab police has witnessed a relatively calm week after a hectic month during Ramazan in the course of which security duties performed were amplified in the scorching heat.

Post-Eid, Punjab police observed a week in which teams did not have to protect any major gathering such as a procession, a convoy or state level guests. There was no need to beat the surge in crime incidents, no major terrorist attack, issues concerning law and order and no crime incident was reported.

During this week, the Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Captain (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan held a meeting to discuss the performance and role of the Dolphin Squad and refresher courses. The IGP ordered officials to conduct snap checking keeping in mind the sketches of criminals involved in dacoity and snatching. He asked vigilance teams to effectively monitor road patrolling teams.

Snap checking is a complicated task when it comes to the Punjab police especially in urban centres. The public often complains of rogue behavior, misuse of authority, humiliation and money minting at police pickets.

Apart from this, standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding picketing are also violated. The SOPs say that officials deputed should wear bulletproof jackets and helmets but most officials are unable to follow this procedure since the force does not have a sufficient number of jackets or helmets.

Picketing inside the city also results in traffic jams which exacerbates an existing challenge in policing. Last but not the least, the Dolphin Force was primarily designed as a first responder and a patrolling force. Designating this force for snap checking may divert them from their mission.

Since the inception of the force, the 15 helpline’s response time has improved and commanders should focus on further improving the service rather than wasting energies at pickets. In addition to this, picketing in major cities in developed countries is an odd and redundant concept.

The IGP held a conference of regional police officers in which he appreciated the services of the force during the month of Ramazan. He also gave them a target to arrest top 20 goons and mobsters from each district and submit a report to him by July 10.

Later on, the IGP held a meeting on the same day to discuss improvements in the recruitment policy and to prepare a master plan regarding the establishment of an investigation school and information and analysis school in the provincial capital.

A third meeting was also held regarding the performance of riverine posts and enhancing cooperation between the border district force and the Punjab Highway Patrol. Punjab police has to man a huge riverine area which hosts notorious criminals including the Chotu gang from Kacha area. The IGP sought a performance report for the last six months of riverine posts until June 30.

A fourth meeting with the Overseas Pakistanis Commission Vice Chairperson Choudhary Waseem Akhtar was held in which the IGP promised him that directions will be issued to all district police officers to solve the issues of overseas Pakistanis on merit.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2019.

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