Considering the law and order situation and state of police affairs in Punjab, the Police budget for the current fiscal year 2015-2016 - a staggering Rs 94 billion - comes as an utter shock to many. The increase of the police budget by almost a 100% has borne little fruit in practicality. Police investigators have to bear the cost of investigations in a personal capacity, the lower staff has to beg the notable of the areas to run the day-to-day affairs of the police station, stations lack computers, photocopy machines and even stationery as the department has been facing a shortage of staff as well as funds. So the question remains, where is this money being spent?

The government in the last five years has launched various training and development projects including 100 Model Police Stations in the Punjab province but it has failed to produce any visible change on ground. According to police budget analysis (2015-2016), the police consume 80.13 percent of the total allocation. Why aren’t results visible then? Can poor governance and the lack of strong leadership be blamed or can the present dire situation be entirely blamed on corrupt practices?

If the police personnel are to be believed, they are the most underpaid of all government employees, reaping no benefits from their thankless job. Various projects that were introduced in Lahore for e.g. the Safe city project and installing CCTV cameras as well as a computerised complaint handling system, have not been able to be replicated anywhere else due to a lack of funds. It is no secret that the Punjab Police has a reputation for serving the interests of those who can return a favor. Lack of accountability and structural discrepancy, as well as meritless promotions are all problems that need to be addressed immediately to save this failed institution.