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Govt revives project to improve police performance through model subdivisions

Govt revives project to improve police performance through model subdivisions

ISLAMABAD: The government has revived a botched Musharraf-era project to improve the performance of the police by appointing four grade 17 officers as in-charges at specific police stations.

The chief commissioner’s office has declared the Bhara Kahu, Banigala, Kohsar and Industrial Area police stations to be model subdivisions and separated them from subdivisions in the previous set-up, officials said.

They said the notification was issued in response to a proposal from the office of the inspector general of police regarding the redistribution of Islamabad subdivisions.

Four grade 17 officers to be appointed in charge of selected stations for pilot project

According to the notification, the capital’s 11 subdivisions have been reduced nine. The Kohsar police station has been removed from the Secretariat subdivision and replaced by the Aabpara police station.

Officials said the Industrial Area police station was separated from the Industrial Area subdivision. That subdivision’s Sabzi Mandi police station was clubbed with two police stations from the Shams Colony subdivision, and named the Sabzi Mandi subdivision.

The Bhara Kahu subdivision was abolished after its two stations — Banigala and Bhara Kahu — were declared a moden subdivision, they said.

The IGP’s office also asked for four assistant superintendents of police (ASP) — grade 17 officers — to be posted as the in-charges of model subdivisions.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Margalla ASP Ayesha Gul, SDPO Secretariat Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ulfat Arif and SDPO Shahzad Town DSP Sardar Ghulam Mustafa have been given charge of the model subdivisions of Kohsar, Bhara Kahu and Banigala, respectively.

Officials said that the police officials have been given charge for the time being in addition to their own duties for three months, or until a regular appointment is made.

SDPO Industrial Area DSP Fida Hussain has been appointed SDPO Sabzi Mandi and given charge of the Industrial Area model subdivision, they added.

Police officers told Dawn this was a botched Musharraf-era project that was unrelated to police reforms. The project was launched in a few cities, including Lahore and Peshawar, but shelved within months because it proved unproductive, they said.

The officers said this project may fail again now, as appointing grade 17 officers as police station in-charges would not change thana culture or improve service delivery. They said resources are needed to bring changes in the police, which could not be done by appointing senior officers.

They said four things are required to change police culture: increasing the cost of investigations according to need, increasing funds for fuel according to requirement, providing the necessary stationary and providing secret funds to pay informers.

They said that because of the lack of funds, police officials attached to stations and other investigation wings become involved in corruption to meet the cost of policing. They added that such funds should be given directly to the police in advance.

They said there are more than 1,600 police stations all over the country, for which the same number of grade 17 officials would be required to implement this project. Officers said there are around 800 grade 17 ASPs from the Police Services of Pakistan (PSP) group and DSPs from the ex-cadre groups in the four provincial police and capital police forces.

They said it takes an ASP around two years to be promoted to superintendent of police, while it takes DSPs five years. Under this project, 1,600 officials would be required every three to four years if DSPs are also considered from the position of model subdivision in-charge.

But, they said, there had been news that the government is only considering appointing ASPs to this post at the recommendation of senior police officers from the PSP group and other bureaucrats.

They said after a certain time the promotion of ASPs would also hamper the project due to the unavailability of seats from grades 18 to 22, adding that ASPs were also found to be reluctant to being posted as the in-charge of a single police station.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2019

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