IGP orders CCTVs in all 722 lockups
LAHORE – In order to keep tabs on policemen, high-tech CCTV cameras will be installed inside the lockups of all 722 police stations across the Punjab province. Officials say this initiative will help end complaints of police torture on crime suspects in the lockup or during interrogation.
Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan on Wednesday ordered his department to ensure installation of CCTV cameras inside lockups all 722 police stations of the Punjab province to stop incidents of torture in police custody. The police chief also directed the officers to integrate the system with the monitoring and control room of the central police office’s for effective monitoring.
The central police office issued a comprehensive directive to all regional, city, and district police officers. All the RPOs and DPOs are directed to start the process of installation of CCTV cameras in all police stations of the districts and ranges under their supervision without any further delay and all RPOs should ensure 24/7 monitoring of these cameras.
According to an official handout, the IGP expressed his displeasure over the complaints of illegal detention and “abuse of powers” by policemen. The police chief warned that the police officials found involved in misusing their powers will not remain part of the police force and such officers and officials should be ready to face strict disciplinary actions.
The IGP also directed field officers to take strict legal action against police officials found involved in torturing crime suspects in police custody and they must be held accountable for this malpractice.
He said that such irresponsible officers and officials will be given strict punishments under Internal Accountability System and they should be made an example for rest of the force.
IGP Arif Nawaz Khan also directed the officers to speed up surprise visits of police stations to keep a strict check on the police working. The police chief said that ordinary citizens in general and victims of crime in particular, should be given proper respect and support when they visit police station to file complaints.
While talking to The Nation, a police officer said that the main objective of this project is to ensure that complainants are not harassed at police stations.
The provincial police department in association with the Punjab Safe City Authority has already installed hundreds of CCTV cameras at various police stations in Lahore and other big cities. Also, thousands of CCTV cameras are also installed on the leading roads in the metropolis.
As part of this project, at least three CCTV cameras would be installed in every police station – at the main entrance, inside the lock-up, and in the offices of Moharar or SHO.
“This is really a very good initiative and this will help us keep tabs on policemen round the clock. Incidents that occur inside the police station often go unnoticed. People have to think twice before visiting any police station,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
Now, the footage could be monitored from the control rooms set up in the police headquarters across the province including the main control room established at the central police office. “In case any person approaches senior officers with problems in lodging a complaint or delay in registering FIRs, then we can go back and check the CCTV footage and take action. Every police station will be equipped with CCTV cameras within a couple of months,” the official explained. “Such initiatives would definitely help build police image and confidence among people.”
IGP takes notice of police firing
Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan on Wednesday took strong notice of Dolphin police firing on a motorcyclist in Lahore and sought a detailed report from the CCPO. The IGP also directed the CCPO to take immediate action against the responsible officials and send back a report to the central police office.
According to the initial police report, Lahore SP Dolphin Bilal Zafar suspended all the four officials of the Dolphin police squad and launched an inquiry against them. In the light of complete inquiry report, the departmental will take legal action against the responsible officials.
A 22-year-old motorcyclist Raza was shot at and wounded by policemen at a checkpoint in Gulberg late Tuesday. The suspended policemen were identified as Constables of Dolphin Force including Zeeshan, Rafaqat, Waseem, and Asif.