Police need to fully implement ‘policing plan 2011’

islamabad – The Islamabad police have yet to do a lot to achieve the goals set in the first Annual Policing Plan 2011 for the Islamabad Capital Territory Police, suggest crime statistics.

The plan introduced during the tenure of Syed Kaleem Imam as Inspector General of Islamabad Police had provided benchmarks enabling senior police managers to systematically monitor and help improve the police performance.

According to police high ups, the introduction of that plan has become all the more necessary in view of the growing population and increasing crimes in Islamabad and the challenges required improved efficiency, better crime management, provision of effective security cover and prompt response and management.

To minimize misuse of discretionary powers in the registration of cases at police stations was among the top strategic goals set by the department itself some six years back.

The number of court orders for registration of FIRs suggests that the complainants are still facing a lot of problems in registration of their cases even now and what to talk of a fair investigation and other proceedings.

In some cases, the officers would not register serious crime cases where information seems to be credible. Dozens of cases are filed on a monthly basis in city courts for getting orders for the police to register the FIRs. In some cases, the reason for the delay or denial of registration of the FIR by the police is the fear of the impression of bad performance.

The police would not register criminal cases to show that all is going well and that the crime graph is downward. Monetary benefits may also compel the police to decline the registration of FIRs.

Background interaction with police officials suggests that usually an FIR is denied in cases of robbery, car-lifting and street crimes. The police is needed to be sensitized and monitored on the issue. This would help improve the response to the public complaints against crimes and registration of cognizable cases.

The establishment of neighbourhood/business watch in urban areas and ‘chowkidari’ system in rural areas was also viewed as a positive step in the police planning to reduce incidents of the street and serious crimes through preventive policing.

Special attention has to be given to identify and reduce organized criminal activities with specific focus on narcotics, gun running, vehicle theft and land grabbing.

The objective of the plan was to dismantle a number of organized networks. Whether it is land grabbing, vehicle-lifting or narcotics, organized networks are involved in the crimes. Land grabbing in the suburbs of the city is emerging as a lucrative business. Gangs of criminals are involved in crimes which usually lead to the murder of the gangsters. A huge money is involved in it.

Dozens of vehicles are stolen from the city limits every month and the police seem helpless even in the presence of CCTV cameras covering all the main city roads. Narcotics have now reached educational institutions of the capital city. Organized networks supply narcotics to the students. Police and the government has taken serious notice of the menace in recent days but still, a lot is needed to be done on the part of law-enforcers to curb the menace.

The police lack a comprehensive strategy to deal with the issues despite a guideline in the policing plan and the real issue is the implementation of the strategy.

Decent police behaviour inside and outside police stations was also sought in the policing plan. The SOPs during patrolling and blockade were developed but it seems that the implementation is highly desirable as a number of complaints relating to police misbehaviour, extortion etc during stop and search operations are still on the rise.

Six years have passed since the police announced the plan to curb crimes and mitigate the sufferings of the people, but the police are still where it were in 2011, suggesting nothing has changed during the last six years.

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