LAHORE - City police department is all set to introduce at least 20 model police stations in the provincial metropolis. Out of total 76 police stations located in Lahore at least 20 have been converted into model police stations .

The new model to be unveiled early next month will have digital operations room and latest tracking system to monitor the police operations round-the-clock at local level. Authorities are giving final touches to the project that would help government provide “respectable atmosphere” to the officers and public as well.

More than three years ago, the provincial government citing budget constraints had shelved a similar plan to build at least 100 model police stations across the Punjab province. The government had established some new buildings in different cities of the province for the project that never made operational.

The Lahore police launched the initiative three months ago by utilizing available resources and funds. Each model police station is being established with an estimated cost of Rs one million to Rs 1.2 million.

As part of the plan, a high-tech command and control system, public friendly waiting areas, investigation rooms, work stations and recordkeeping rooms have been developed in each model police station. Similarly, barracks with new bedding and mess rooms are also established for the wellbeing of the policemen. The cops will be served quality food at their stations during the night hours.

DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf who himself designed the new police station model says the basic purpose of the scheme is to strengthen police stations .

“Hopefully, we will be able to establish a model in which the police station staff is not only monitored but also looked after properly. Officers serving at police station level must be given due respect. We believe this step can trigger a change,,, a healthy and positive change,” he said. “There would be an operation room for each SHO to monitor police operations through an IT-based system. Investigation (of crime suspects) will also be monitored through this room.”

Punjab Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera yesterday endorsed the plan and directed the department to adopt all positive steps with regard to model policing by ensuring provision of quality food to the police force at Police Lines as well. The police chief was informed that a proposal was under consideration to provide quality food at subsidized rates to the police men at stations and police headquarters.

According to a police spokesperson, the provincial police chief approved the scheme while presiding over a meeting at the central police office yesterday. Additional-IG (Welfare and Finance) Sohail Khan, Additional-IGP (Operations/Investigations) Capt. (Retired) Arif Nawaz, DIG Operations Punjab, Amir Zulfiqar Khan, DIG Headquarters, B.A Nasir, DIG (SPU) Agha Yousaf, and Lahore DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf were also present on this occasion besides other officers.

DIG Haider Ashraf briefed the IGP about a model of police station designed by him and having all latest facilities. Mushtaq Sukhera further directed the officers that 8787 service which had been launched in Punjab police for redressal of public complaints could be used as central service with a view to provide consecutive justice to the complainants also.

The police chief also reviewed the computerization of Criminal Record Management System (CRMIS) of the Punjab Police in detail. On this occasion, Lahore SP (CRO) Nadeem Abbas informed the meeting that through Mega Matcher Machine which was recently purchased for fingerprints record management as many as 100,000 fingerprints of the hardened criminals have been incorporated in fingerprint matching system, whereas, the rest of 125,000 will be the part of this system very shortly. He also told the participants that the process of computerization of manual record of all police station of Punjab is also under process.

The meeting also reviewed the preparation of software of legal department with a view of maximum utilization of information technology for the justice system process and formalities. AIG (Legal) Ahsan Younas told the IGP that this software would be completed very soon which will have the subject wise apps of pending cases, the decisions and directions of the honorable courts, progress, and record of all writ petitions as well.

In 2012, the provincial government had planned establishment of 100 model police stations with the motto of making the police corruption-free. The authorities had proposed at least 20 model police stations for Lahore, while four in Sheikhupura, four in Sahiwal, five in Sargodha, three in Bahawalpur, four in Dera Ghazi Khan, and 15 in each police region including Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Multan.

The experts had estimated Rs 604 million for the MPS project having latest technology, including CCTV cameras, computers, and investigations kits, along with the provision of smart phones to the station house officers. As if not enough, a monthly grant of Rs 100,000 to SHOs of MPSs in big cities and Rs 15,000 per month allowance proposals had been furnished before the government. It was also planned that all the 26 Police Registers would be computerised with the help of software designed by the Punjab Information Technology Board.