LAHORE Street crimes have dropped drastically since the Dolphin police force began patrolling in Lahore, police data shows.

The initiative of smart patrolling police on the pattern of Turkish national police was launched in Lahore on March 30. During the peak hours of crime happenings, some seven hundred young policemen patrol city roads for eight hours to exclusively fight street crimes.

According to official statistics, city witnessed almost 50 percent decrease in the incidents of street robberies since the new patrolling units are employed to fight criminals involved in robberies, mugging, and theft.

The Lahore police reported at least 151 street robberies during the month of April 2016 as compared to 304 incidents registered in April 2015. The comparative data analysis shows that the street robberies dropped significantly in Lahore’s Model Town, Iqbal Town, Sadar, and Cantonment police divisions during the month of April this year as compared to April 2015.

As per official statics, the Sadar police division had reported 81 incidents of street robberies during the month of April in 2015. However, the police reported only 28 armed robberies during the same period this year. Similarly, the street robberies dropped from 61 to 27 in Model Town police division. Robberies descended from 53 to 28 in Iqbal Town police division and from 59 to 21 in the Cantonment police division.

However, the Civil Lines and City police divisions could not show any remarkable results in April.

Last month, at least 23 incidents of street robberies were reported in the city police division while the same police division had registered at least 24 such cases in April 2015.

As far as Civil Lines police division is concerned, the police reported 24 robberies this year in April against 26 cases of robberies registered in 2015.

The unique patrolling force was raised early this year by the provincial government to exclusively fight street crimes. The officials of the Dolphin Force are equipped with heavy bikes and modern gadgetry.

A senior police officer yesterday told The Nation that another 2500 young men are being recruited as police constables for this patrolling unit. Following the successful launching of the force, this project would be extended to other four big cities of province.

“We don’t have received even a single complaint of corruption or misbehaviour against the personnel of Dolphin Force so far. The new patrolling force is delivering wonderful results,” said Haider Ashraf, who leads the city’s operations police.

Police sources said the dolphin squads patrol city roads from 02:00pm to 10:00pm and in some parts of the city from 03:00pm to 11:00pm. The dolphin squads are equipped with heavy bikes, android phones, and modern gadgetry. The squad’s movement is deeply monitored from the central operations room.

Earlier, the digital crime-mapping disclosed to the authorities that the emergency phone calls seeking immediate police response swells significantly in Lahore from 04:00pm to 11:00pm.

Haider Ashraf says the digital policing are extensively helping officers bring down crime rate in the metropolis. “During the peak hours of crime happenings, the police patrolling is intensified across the city.

We are focusing in crime-prone areas and we are successfully countering the criminals.”

The highly-trained patrolling units chased and arrested at least six armed bandits from different parts of the metropolis during the first month. Following these arrests, the police conducted more raids and captured another seven members of the gangs.

A police spokesperson yesterday said the dolphin police units were barred from checking documents of vehicles from the road users. “They (Dolphins) intercept only suspected vehicles. The dolphins put the vehicles’ registration numbers into their android handsets for verification. The stolen vehicles are seized immediately.”

Motorcycle Units or Dolphins are working in Lahore as the first respondent force and their basic job is only patrolling in their beats. According to the SOP devised for the dolphin force, a squad of two motorcycles with four policemen patrols on city roads to fight criminals involved in street robberies.

A police officer of the Sadar division said that the dolphin police units never try to cross their limits because all their actions and movement is monitored from the central operation rooms.

The police department has already begun homework to raise Dolphin Force for another four big cities of the Punjab province. Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif recently approved the establishment of Dolphin Force to control street crimes in Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.

Lahore police have successfully introduced yet another mechanism on the pattern of the Istanbul police’s Dolphin model to counter persistent street crime after various patrolling models failed to come up to the expectations of the citizens and the governments during the last couple of decades.

The new patrolling plan, which is expected to cost the provincial exchequer in billions of rupees in terms of training and logistics, is not only helping police hunt down criminals but also ensure quick response in case of any untoward happening.