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April 16, 2015

Karachi police issue safety protocol for schools


April 16, 2015

The Karachi police on Wednesday issued a safety protocol for schools in the city and directed their administrations to ensure its implementation as soon as possible.
According to the plan devised by the city police, all schools are to have a control room to review the footage of security cameras installed at its entry and exits points and maintain at least a week’s recording.
The schools managements are instructed to report any suspicious movement during school timings to the local police station or the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee. Guards appointed for the security of schools should be made to stand watch on an elevated place or on the rooftop.
The administrations of schools, if possible, should install walk-through gates and metal detectors and should also maintain stagger timings for different grades to minimise congestion.
The school staff, students and others are instructed to cordon off the area and immediately inform the police if they find a suspicious package. The protocol asserts that in case an unidentified parcel is received or is found abandoned, then it should not be touched, tampered with or moved. Police should immediately be informed and in the mean time the area should be cordoned off and no one should be allowed inside the perimeter. The schools are also instructed have adequate measures fire fighting equipment on each floor of school buildings and have the window glass laminated with resistant film to prevent splinters in case of an explosion.
The plan calls for not allowing parents to drop their children at the school gate or parking of any vehicle in front of it. The presence of hawkers and vendors must also be discouraged around the school.
Meanwhile, school administrations should instruct drivers of school vans to remain vigilant and keep the doors of vehicles locked and enlist the services of at least one security guard with each vehicle.
The administrations were also advised to keep a record of

all the employees and school van drivers and also deposit a copy of their identity cards and pictures at the local police stations for reference. It calls for banning entrance of unauthorised people inside schools except when they show their identity.

Worst case scenario
The Karachi police advised schools to install emergency bells and have all the emergency numbers such as those of ambulance services and fire brigade displayed on the notice board, besides keeping first aid kits handy.
Students should be informed of all the assembly points in case of emergency and all facilities inside the school building should be regularly inspected.
Schools should also devise emergency evacuation plans and keep regular drills for practice. The city police also recommended the teachers and staff to undergo Civil Defence Training. Schools were also advised to set up emergency networks of parents and make maps and blueprints of buildings readily available for the law enforcers.
In case there is an explosion or an attack, everyone inside should leave their belonging and immediately rush to the designated assembly point as calmly as possible.
The protocol calls for teachers to be the last ones to leave the class and do a head count once they reach the assembly area. If possible, the students should be shifted to a pre-arranged safe house in the neighbourhood.
The schools staff must check all the rooms, including the toilets, to make sure no one is left behind and no one, not even visitors, must be allowed to leave until proper clearance.
The city police called for ensuring the implementation of this security plan for schools and also asked the police stations to inspect the facilities in their areas.
Remember to...

l Cross reference all the employees with the local police stations and keep a copy of their identity card along with a photograph

l Develop stagger timings for different grades to avoid congestion outside entrance

l Forbid parents to wait outside and drop their children at the school gate

l Install security cameras at entry and exit points, set up control rooms and also buy walk-through gates and metal detectors

l Establish a parents network for emergencies

l In case a suspicious parcel is found, cordon off the area and call the police. Don’t touch, move or tamper with the parcel

l Deploy one security guard with each school van

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