FAISALABAD: The police have evolved a plan to create awareness among citizens in the wake of increasing terrorism threats, City Police Officer Dr Haider Ashraf said on Thursday.
He said under the plan, pamphlets and posters carrying security precautions would be disseminated. The police will also meet with various segments of the society to discuss these measures.
Safety measures will also be displayed on the Faisalabad Police’s Facebook page, he said.
People will be advised to stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings. “Get to know your neighbourhood and ask about your neighbours. Know who you work for and work with,” he said.
He advised house owners to run background checks on potential tenants. “Keep an eye on your surroundings, especially in crowded areas,” he suggested.
“If you see something unusual happening around you, evaluate it. If you still can’t figure out whether it could be potentially threatening, notify the nearest police station at once.”
He requested people to inform police if a new suspicious person moved into their neighbourhood. “Do not visit crowded places – markets, hotels, offices or video stores – unless you absolutely have to,” the CPO said.
He also advised people against handling unidentified objects that could have explosives concealed in them. “These could be toys, lunch boxes, bottles or bags…do not accept parcels from strangers and look people around you in the eye,” he said.
“While travelling, you should always check under your seats for any suspicious objects. Keep your cell phones charged and make sure all emergency numbers are saved in them.”
Any abandoned vehicles, articles or strange objects must be reported immediately, the CPO stressed. “Lock your doors while travelling in a vehicle, make sure that only a quarter of each window is left open. Please lock your vehicles every time you park, even if you plan on returning in a few minutes.”
The CPO said the bonnet and boot of cars should also be properly secured. “Look around for suspicious looking people before leaving your car and before getting into it, make sure its boot, bonnet and doors have not been tampered with.”
Dr Ashraf said if there are any signs of suspicious activity, citizens have a duty to inform the police immediately.
Describing a potential suicide bomber, the CPO said he or she would be wearing an unusual number of layers, they’d be heavy-footed, perspiring excessively, looking nervous and acting suspicious. He said it was possible that something extra would be protruding from their clothing.
The CPO has also directed the Security Branch in charge to ensure extra security arrangements for mosques, Imambargahs, markets, commercial centres and other public spaces on the last Friday of Ramazan, Shab-i-Qadr, Chaand Raat and Eidul Fitr. He said additional police personnel would be deployed near shopping centres and recreational places and the patrolling system will be made more effective.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.