LAHORE - At least 275 cadets last week passed out of the police training college to join the first-ever Special Security Unit, a well-trained wing of the city police to guard foreigners in Lahore.

Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Amin Wains, while addressing the passing-out ceremony at the Police Lines, Qila Gujjar Singh, on Saturday, said the special security unit was developed to guard foreign nationals in the metropolis.

The city police chief said that police recruits were given specialised training in different fields by the Master Trainers. The officer also lauded the efforts of the police trainers for raising an extraordinary security unit keeping in mind the present situation and security threats.

Wains said that the Lahore police introduced several specialised units, including police response units, Dolphin Squads and anti-riot units to strengthen the largest law enforcement agency. He said that new police units played a very important role in improving the police image besides downgrading the crime rate in the metropolis.

“We need highly-trained, well-equipped and energetic soldiers since we are on the frontline in the war on terror. The police force, nowadays, is being imparted training according to the international standards so that they can secure communities,” the officer said.

The newly-inducted policemen were given training in the field of motorcycle formation, cavalcade interception, counter-field interception, personal security detail and multiple target engagement. The CCPO expressed the hope that addition of special security unit will strengthen the Lahore police.

The move to build a new force for the foreigners comes barely months after the mega cricket series involving international players concluded at the Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Officials say the new police unit will work on the pattern of the Specialised Protection Unit that is responsible for the security of Chinese national working on different development projects in Punjab.

Last year, the police department had announced more than 4,000 vacancies of constables in the SPU, a unique and highly-trained force to provide security cover to foreigners, particularly Chinese.

At least 4,076 constables were recruited to the Punjab Police’s Specialised Protection Unit with the purpose to provide foolproof security to foreign experts working on various government projects in the province.

After proper professional training, these constables were deployed at development project sites to provide security to foreign experts. Hundreds of Chinese nationals are working on various development projects across Punjab. Since China has pledged over $40 billion investment, which is being seen by economists as a “milestone in the history of Pak-China relations”, more Chinese are expected to arrive in the energy-hungry country to share their expertise.

Therefore, authorities are establishing well-equipped and highly-trained special units to provide protection to foreign experts, an official explained. This is the responsibility of the state to provide best security to foreign experts in order to win the confidence of foreign companies so that they are encouraged to invest more in Pakistan.

The government had decided to form a new unit to ensure foreigners’ security in March 2014. The initiative had been taken to convince some foreign experts who were unwilling to work on the development projects citing security concerns. The SPU is providing foolproof security to foreign engineers and technicians across the province.

At present, thousands of police commandoes are already deployed at various development sites. The SPU is headed by a police officer of the rank of Deputy Inspector General with two SSPs and four SPs. The SPU officials were provided training on the pattern of Elite Police Force.

A senior police officer said the SPU was expected to take over the security of almost all development projects where foreigners are working. Last year, the provincial government had allocated Rs1.2 billion for procurement of automatic weapons, vehicles, wireless sets, night vision goggles and other modern security gadgets for this force to make it operational.

Clampdown on juvenile

drivers

City traffic police department last week seized over 1,000 vehicles during its ongoing campaign against underage drivers. More than 3,200 juvenile drivers were also ticketed during the special operation.

A police spokesman claimed that vehicles would be released when parents of the juvenile drivers will submit surety bonds to local police, pledging that they will not allow driving or auto riding to their children on city roads in future.

The data of the impounded vehicles was being computerised, the spokesman said. In case of repeated violations, legal action would be taken against the parents. The city traffic police also took action against 3,727 smoky vehicles, 10,990 vehicles with improper number plates and 742 vehicles without number plates.

The road safety units of the city police are continuously delivering lectures in schools and colleges to educate masses about the importance of road safety laws. According to police, the special campaign would continue in Lahore till November 27.

Several special teams involving dozens of traffic officers are taking part in the campaign to check juvenile driving. The clampdown was launched as police observed that “underage driving” was the major reason for many fatal road accidents reported across the province in recent months.