THE appointment of Lady Duty Officers in 12 police stations in Lahore has been called a step towards soft policing. Since going to the police stations and getting FIRs registered was one of the biggest worries for the public, especially the womenfolk, the step might prove to be useful. But could the presence of Lady Duty Officers change the thana culture and the way police deals with the public? Far from that, because there is already a women police wing existing inside the force, which to all intents and purposes has not been able to make any positive change. There is reason to believe that our police stations would continue to be deserted places. The provincial government seems committed to bring about reforms and has taken a number of steps that includes a substantial raise in the salary of the staff in the province, but in the absence of any system of checks and balances, the police continues to go about their corrupt ways. The department's dealing with the public, by and large, remains hostile. Worse still, the graph of crime is at its highest. In a chilling backdrop of the sort, measurers like the posting of Lady officers would turn out to be cosmetic. Undoubtedly, the policing system is in need of a major overhaul.