As population and crime continue to rise simultaneously in Hyderabad, police officials feel the need to bring structural reforms in the department to cope with the fresh challenges.
The existing system, which works under the senior superintendent of police (SSP), assisted by the DSPs at the sub-divisional level, is being considered to be too centralised.
“The policing requirements for an urban town with a dense population naturally vary from those of a rural area,” said the Hyderabad DIG Sanaullah Abbasi, who has prepared the recommendations, which have been submitted to the Sindh police IG to improve the hierarchical structure.
According to estimates of the district administration, Hyderabad’s population has burgeoned to 3.1 million, courtesy of the constant migration from other parts of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas. Around 3,205 incidents of crime were reported in the district in 2013 and another 1,796 in the first seven months of 2014.
At present, there are 13 police sub-divisions and 29 police stations. The population in each sub-division varies between 130,000 to 450,000. The police, however, lack the manpower and equipment to effectively maintain law and order in these areas. The traffic regulation system is also at its worst.
“Hyderabad is the second largest city in Sindh. Due to its location, commercial activity, presence of government offices and residences of ministers, parliamentarians and judges of the superior judiciary, Hyderabad virtually serves as the second capital of Sindh,” read the recommendations. “Due to the frequent racial, political and ethnic unrest, VIP visits, crime trend, terrorism threats personified in the recent killings of policemen (11 have been killed three months), it has become essential to revamp the existing organisational set-up of the department.”
According to the proposal, two new posts of BPS-18 superintendent of police (SP) will be created - one with jurisdiction over the district’s City and Latifabad tehsils and the second for Qasimabad and Rural tehsils. Each of the SPs will be responsible for crime management, law and order and traffic regulation.
The transfer and posting authority for non-gazetted staff will be vested with the SP, while the SHOs at the police stations will be posted by the SSP with his recommendation. “Another factor is that a CSP officer of BPS-18 is far better in public dealing. As of now, either the SSP or the DIG are burdened with dealing the high-profile cases,” Abbasi told The Express Tribune.
City SP Umer Tufail pointed out that, there was currently an overlap of jurisdictions between the SSP, headquarters SP, ASPs and DSPs. “The confusion mostly surfaces in important cases which are dealt with by officials higher than the rank of an SHO.” Tufail believes that the new posts will streamline the structure.
According to the DIG, the home department can sanction the new posts by re-designating the existing posts of BPS-18 for additional DIG and BPS-18 for headquarters SP for Badin. Both the posts, which are part of the Hyderabad range police, are redundant.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2014.