“Poor standards of investigation are rooted in the lack of trained officials, paucity of motivation and conventional methods of investigation,” Investigation SSP Rana Ayyaz Saleem told The Express Tribune on Thursday.
SSP Saleem said this was compounded by officials of the wing devoting their energy to primarily solving cases registered under Section 489-F (dishonestly issuing a cheque) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) rather than cracking cases of crime against property, person, land grabbing that impact the lives of the public. He said he had formulated a plan to revamp the wing. SSP Saleem said results of the implementation of this plan would be visible to everyone soon. “No cases of crime against property are getting solved these days. We will strive to change this.”
He said he had discovered that most officials focused on solving cases registered under Section 489-F rather than cracking cases affecting the public on joining the wing. SSP Saleem said he wanted to revamp the wing’s operations to transform it from a recovery force to one that proactively solved citizens’ problems.
The SSP said another problem compromising the wing’s operations was an inferiority complex prevalent among some officials vis-à-vis those from the operations wing. Saleem said this prevented some officials from effectively discharging their duties. “I will try my level-best to correct this misconception by impressing on them the fact that effective investigation is inextricably linked to professional policing.”
He said poor coordination among the prosecution agency and the wing was another pressing concern. SSP Saleem said cases against people wanted for crimes against person and embezzlement were often so feeble that suspects managed to walk free from courts following preliminary hearings. He said he had called on the district public prosecutor to remedy this. SSP Saleem said a mechanism would be developed to effectively crack cases that impact the lives of the public including murder and abduction. He said this would enable police to formulate strong cases with the help of prosecutors. SSP Saleem said this would ensure that justice was meted out to criminals.
The SSP said he had formulated a specialised training programme for the wing’s officials. He said the programme would commence at police lines next week.
He said he had asked the director general of the forensic science laboratory to teach officials modern ways of investigation and collecting evidence. SSP Saleem said lawyers would also teach officials to make strong cases for prosecution in the training.
SSP Saleem said monitoring the performance of officials was key to improving standards. He said a mechanism had been formulated in this regard with the assistance of Operations DIG Haider Ashraf. SSP Saleem said a performance audit of officials from the investigation and operations wing of the force would commence on Monday. SSP Saleem said officials effectively discharging duties would be rewarded with appreciation letters and those underperforming would be punished. He said this would improve discipline in the wing and time management standards. “There is no space in the wing for cavalier officials. Only driven individuals would work here,” SSP Saleem said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2015.