Muhammad Sabeen

The performance of Punjab Police can only be improved and bring on par with the public expectations until its personnel are provided with all basic facilities that other forces enjoy and are entitled to.
These were the views of police personnel serving the Police Department in different capacities while talking to this scribe, on the condition of not to be named, during a survey on Monday.
They lamented that they had been grappling with multifarious facing problems since long and their solution seemed difficult in the near future as no concrete step could be taken to this effect so far. It is said that a force moves on its stomach but this force having empty stomach as having no mechanism to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in a proper way and at proper time. Even when on special/VVIP duties which is normally for more than 12 hours, meals are rarely served by the department and the police personnel have to arrange meals from their own pockets," they claimed. They, however, pointed out that this was not a fault on the part of any District Police Officer rather the prevailing system was responsible for the exploitation which must be reformed.
They were of the view that police officers, especially the subordinate staff was facing numerous problems but no one was there to take stock of them and spring into action for their resolution. They maintained that the cops mostly remained on duty round the clock, having no concept of backup, weekend holiday, casual leave or annual leave mainly due to the acute shortage of manpower. "We live in rented flats, hotels and places which are not worth living, no service accommodation, health facilities, schools and colleges for our children as the personnel of other forces enjoying and are entitled to," they pointed out, adding that under such circumstances how the authorities and public could expect better performance from the poor police personnel. They also pointed out that the police stations were also not well built and lacked basic facilities, adding that even there was no proper arrangements for the maintenance and provision of fuel to the official vehicles and motorbikes.
 They said the motorbikes provided to riders at police check-posts were provided with 20 litres petrol a month, reflecting the basic lacuna in the way of effective and continuous patrolling. They said most of the bikes were in need of major maintenance but no funds were provided in this regard, adding that in such situation how a bike or any vehicle could be kept on road without proper maintenance and fuel. There are many other departmental problems which need immediate redressal. They asserted that until the shortage of manpower was overcome and basic facilities provided to the police personnel, the performance of police cannot be improved, adding that steps on war-footings should be taken to equip the police personnel with modern machinery and sophisticated weapons. They elaborated that action, and not paying lip service to would do the needful.