LAHORE, Sept 23: The Lahore police’s ‘street crime prevention plan’ under which police stations were to be improved and infrastructure of patrolling and operation wings upgraded has yet to gain momentum because of the partial release of funds, Dawn has learnt.
Deputy Inspector General (operations) Muhammad Tahir Rai told Dawn on Sunday the provincial government had released Rs240 million to buy vehicles, motorcycles and laptops and Rs210m for three portable direction finders (PDFs). He said the plan was being implemented with the help of funds and available resources.
The ‘street crime prevention plan’ was presented by the Lahore police to the Punjab chief minister last month at a meeting. The plan highlights 57 most-affected police stations and six hotspots per police station.
The presentation said police were heavily engaged in law and order duties other than crime fighting.
According to the presentation, the Lahore police needed funds for research and development, effective policing and law and order management to keep the city safe.
The plan sought Rs441 million for 114 pick-ups, 330 motorcycles, 100 laptops, CCTVs at 111 points and two portable direction finders with a total cost of Rs441 million.
The plan sought a force of 2,000 foot constables, 200 head-constables, 40 assistant sub-inspectors, 20 SIs, 12 inspectors, three deputy superintendent of police (DSPs) and an SP with annual estimated cost of Rs555 million and grand total expenditure worth Rs996 million to cope with crime.
So far, Rs240 million have been released for the plan.
However, the chief minister, who chaired the meeting, approved the recruitment of 4,000 ex-army men and Rs450 million for the purchase of 57 pick-ups, 200 motorcycles, 57 laptops and three PDFs, officials concerned told Dawn.
According to the presentation, the provincial chief executive was informed by Mr Rai that Lahore police consisted of 82 police stations, 41 police posts and 32 buildings for 26,000 officials (all ranks), of which 11,000 are deployed on crime, 4,000 on security and 11,000 others are for reserves, headquarters and law and order.
The meeting learnt that 879 protests took place between Jan and July this year, of which 350 were against loadshedding.
At least 95 major religious programmes and 446 other programmes were held in the city with average 12 religious programmes and six others/miscellaneous daily during the period.
Up to 1,618 incidents of street crime occurred between Feb 17 and July 31, this year as compared to 1,681 incidents reported between Sept 1, 2011, and Feb 16, 2012.
The operations police had 27 per cent of vehicles (less than five years old), 46 per cent of vehicles (more than five years old) and 27 per cent of vehicles (more than 10 years old).
The DIG told the chief minister that according to his plan, six Mohafiz squads (each comprises two motorcycles and covers one beat) per police station would check suspects and combat criminals. They would be equipped with small machine guns (SMGs) and wireless sets. Around 684 MCs are required for the plan.
Furthermore, Mujahid Mobiles (one in each police station) will guard markets, and Tiger Squads (two MCs make one tiger squad and two squads in each police station) will guard banks and small jewellery markets. They will be equipped with SMGs and wireless sets.
A police mobile, which will be in addition to one existing vehicle, will remain on hot spot for half an hour and the in charge will select a hotspot for a surprise visit. The second police mobile will remain in the police station for other duties. The plan needs 57 pick ups and 228 MCs.
The DIG said his police station force for crime fighting would be up to 15,000 after 4,000 newly-recruited ex-servicemen joined Lahore police for security duties and 4,000 policemen relieved from such duties.
The police have advertised in newspapers for new jobs.