LAHORE - Punjab and Sindh provinces last week signed a key agreement for exchange of criminals’ data by using digital technology.

The memorandum of understanding will help police departments of both provinces swap record of 1.25 million persons having criminal history.

The Punjab Police have collected record of more than one million criminals, including their photos and fingerprints in recent years. The Sindh police have also compiled data of 250,000 criminals. Following this agreement, policemen in both the provinces can access the record of criminals with only a single click of button.

Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan and Sindh Police Chief A.D Khawaja signed the agreement at the central police office in Lahore. On this occasion, AD Khawaja called the agreement “a mile stone” and said the Punjab Police have always been a role model for other provinces.

He said that many steps taken by Punjab police were replicated by other provinces and data collection of individuals having criminal records is a step forward in this way. According to a police spokesman, IGP of Sindh underlined that there should be an efficient mechanism at federal level to promote interprovincial coordination and professional skills. He also paid special thanks to the Punjab government and PITB saying that the process of technology sharing will continue.

Punjab IGP Arif Nawaz Khan said that the use of information technology is helping the Punjab Police in many ways. He said that modern inventions in information technology have changed policing culture and Punjab police have not only adopted IT reforms for upgrading their systems but also set a precedent for other police forces. He said that with the agreement of digitalized criminal data sharing, the movement of criminals would be restricted and other provinces should also follow the traditions of this mutual sharing.

Also, IG Sindh AD Khawaja visited operation rooms at the offices of CCPO and DIG (Operations). Lahore CCPO Muhammad Amin Wains welcomed the Sindh police chief while DIG Moin Masood, SSP Muntazir Mehdi, and Chief Traffic Officer Rai Ejaz Ahmed were also present on this occasion.

SSP Rana Ayaz Saleem briefed the IGP Sindh about the digital operation rooms launched in Lahore in recent years. IG Sindh lauded the Welfare Eye project of Lahore police. The IG Sindh also visited safe city project PCIC3 and acknowledged the modern technology-based exemplary projects to curb crimes along with efficient traffic management system. He was of the view that in modern era contemporary policing is impossible without updated information technology and Punjab police is practically following smart and community policing rules.

Ramazan security plan gets underway

Last week, the provincial police also unveiled the Ramazan security plan with massive deployment of police force at religious places, markets, and banks. The move comes amid Taliban threats. Some media reports also warned that the terror out-fit, TTP, had dispatched a few suicide bombers to hit targets in big cities of the Punjab province.

Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan approved the security plan while presiding over a meeting at the central police office last week. As part of the security strategy, the police patrolling will also be intensified in addition to security searches at the entry and exit points of big cities.

According to Punjab Additional-IG (Operations) Aamir Zulfiqar Khan, more than 90,000 police personnel, private guards, and volunteers would be deployed on security duties across the province. Also, police will guard at least 32,817 mosques and 2,758 Imambargahs. Officers will use at least 21,410 metal detectors and 1,839 walkthrough gates for physical frisking.

The field officers are ordered to ensure snap-checking besides supervision of different locations, hotels, inns, and guesthouses in the big cities. The police patrolling units including Dolphin Squads and Quick Response Force are deployed on armed patrolling during prayers of Fajar, Magrib and Namaz-e -Traveeh during Ramazan.

In Lahore, the police have been directed to implement a comprehensive security plan in the holy month of Ramazan and deploy trained security guards at religious places after proper verification.

DIG (Operations) Dr Moeen Masood says that a security plan has been put into practice in order to maintain peace and harmony in the metropolis during Ramazan. He said this year more police contingents would be deployed on security duties around religious places, markets, and shopping centers as compared to the previous years.

The police patrolling has been intensified around religious places during Sehr, Iftar, and Taraveeh prayers. The motorcycle-patrolling units are also activated to counter street criminals on city roads. Similarly, thousands of trained police guards including police commandoes are deployed on security duties in the metropolis.

Under the security plan, the police will ensure physical checking of all hotels, inns, and Ramazan bazaars. The field officers are also directed to ensure armed patrolling in their areas and maintain foolproof security for all religious places.

According to city police, more than 10,000 officials are deployed on security duties in Ramazan, while 160 squads will be on patrolling in different areas of the provincial metropolis.

All station house officers are bound to visit Masajids and Imambargahs in their areas to review security arrangements and discourage unnecessary use of loudspeakers. Also, the police will keep bus-stands and the railway station under strict surveillance.

An awareness campaign has also been launched among the people to inform police emergency number Rescue-15 in case they find any person with suspicious movements or find any abandoned briefcase or luggage. Earlier, all the divisional SPs approved police deployment at mosques, imambargahs, churches, and markets in their respective divisions.