LAHORE - The Lahore police are ready to launch the much-awaited “action plan” within next couple of days in order to introduce some basic reforms at police station level to win the hearts of public.

For the very time in the history of the Punjab police department, at least 168 Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) have been selected to work as Admin Officers in 84 police stations of the provincial metropolis.

These admin officers would work in two shifts along with the Civilian Senior Station Assistants to ensure prompt action on the public complaints, besides facilitating the visitors at the police stations. Special IT-equipped reception desks have already been established in all the 84 police stations of Lahore.

Police sources say they believe that the administration officers would start working in Lahore police stations from Monday (today).

The basic responsibility of these Admin Officers would be to ensure registration of criminal cases within 24 hours of the happening, besides providing best and friendly atmosphere to the visitors at the police stations. These policemen, with the help of Civilian Senior Station Assistants, would maintain computerised record of all the visitors. Similarly, they would also mention the “purpose of visit” in the lists to be compiled on daily basis in each police station. This practice would help discourage the tout culture at police station level, according to police officials.

The local police would be bound to decide the monetary disputes between two parties within seven days. The admin officers are empowered to report directly to the Lahore police chief or the DIG Operations in case they notice some legal complications or hindrance at any stage.

This initiative is said to the brainchild of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Muhammad Amin Wains and also the basic part of the action plan prepared by the Lahore police to create soft image of the country’s largest law enforcing agency.

Believe it or not, on the orders of CCPO Amin Wains chit system has been removed from all the police headquarters in Lahore, thus enabling the people to visit any police office without any reference or recommendation.

Notwithstanding the security threats, everybody is entitled to meet any police officer to register a complaint.

Last week while addressing 168 selected T-ASIs at the police headquarters, Amin Wains told these policemen that they were being appointed as admin officers or duty officers in the police stations so that they would behave politely with the ordinary citizens besides ensuring quick response on public complaints.

The CCPO also told the duty officers that improvement in policing was linked to facilitating the ordinary citizens.

In order to start a new era of Punjab Police, officials say that at least 100 Civilian Senior Station Assistants are also being recruited who would be assigned duty to computerise the record at police stations besides helping the public for spontaneous redress of their complaints and timely registration of public complaints.

Recently while presiding over a high-level meeting at the Central Police Office, IGP Punjab Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera approved the summary to recruit at least 100 Civilian Senior Station Assistants.

Initially, this pilot project would be started at 10 police stations in Lahore. But, later on, this project will also be expanded to other districts. Under this project, 20 male Senior Station Assistants, 60 male and 20 female Police Station Assistants would be appointed across the province, according to the police sources.

In their campaign manifesto, the PML-N had pledged the much-needed police reforms but the political leadership failed to introduce reforms in the biggest Punjab province. Since 1985 to-date, Sharif brothers are in power for the 6th term in the Punjab province where police working is plummeting.

Although CM Shahbaz Sharif, during his six-year plus tenure, had took some initiatives including sufficient raise in salary packages, training of policemen from Pakistan Army, arranging refresher courses for police officers in Turkey, the police working is like an open secret with no visible changes on the ground.

Again the new action plan is being introduced by the police department with the government support. Introducing reforms in the corruption-riddled police department is really an uphill task and only time will tell whether the new “action plan” is being implemented to entertain 100 people to get a job in the police or they would deliver in actual sense to ensure justice at grass root level.