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December 28, 2020

KP Police face shortage of vehicles

National

December 28, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police are facing a crisis-like situation after all the senior and junior officers have been directed to use only official cars for patrolling and official duties.

“In Peshawar, there are just 47 official vans for 34 police stations and 123 police posts (72 of which are sanctioned and 51 unsanctioned posts ),” sources told The News. Most of the police stations have one patrolling car for its entire area that has now been given to the station house officers (SHOs).

One official of the capital city police, however, said there were 66 patrolling cars for police stations and posts while 20 other vehicles were that of the City Patrol. Even these vehicles, however, are not enough for around 160 police stations and posts.

“Apart from cars for SHO, every police station needs four to six and even more vehicles with fuel to ensure effective patrolling in the area,” said an official. The cops in KP are recently directed to use only official vehicles during duty. They were warned of action in case they were found using private cars, especially the case property vehicles.

"The KP Police are short of vehicles and motorbikes for patrolling in all the districts for the last many years. In many areas officers avoided using official vans due to threats of attacks by the terrorists," said a source.

The source added there are 16 official vans for ten police stations of the City division in the provincial capital out of which 10 are now being used by SHOs while only six are left for patrolling, countering street crimes, investigation, VIP duty and rest of the issues in the main city.

In Saddar division, there are 11 vehicles for seven police stations and over 40 posts. The rider squads were mostly using private bikes since the police stations were not provided official motorbikes in the last many years to go after street crimes.

In the rural Peshawar, a source said, the area of one police station, Matani, is spread over 189 square kilometer and has 7 posts that needs several patrolling vans to maintain law and order. The area of Daudzai police station is spread over 102 square kilometer.

"Besides, the Badaber police station covers an area of 132 square kilometer. It has 11 posts to provide security to over 490,000 population," said a source. It has only two cars for the entire area. All these police stations are located in troubled areas where the threat level is always higher compared to other parts of the country.

Not only in Peshawar but the force is short of patrolling cars in all the districts. Besides, there are very few official bikes for the rider squad to keep a check on street crimes. The shortage of patrolling cars and bikes can result in serious law and order situation if the issue was not addressed by the government and police bosses at the earliest.

A recent order that was issued to all the senior and junior officials to prevent the unlawful use of case property cars and other private vehicles was largely appreciated by the public, saying it will stop the misuse of such vehicles by the senior and junior officials.

Many of the officers were reportedly using private cars for patrolling and official duties. The KP Police authorities said hundreds of case property and other unlawful cars were returned by the cops and other officials in recent months that were impounded to hand over these cars to departments concerned.

However, there were demands for early arrangements for more official vehicles for the police force in Peshawar and rest of KP before the shortage of patrolling cars and bikes results in poor law and order. "Most of our police stations have one official car for duties. After it is given to the SHOs, there is no other official car available for patrolling by the staff of the police station and three, four or more police posts," said an official.

The official said the SHOs daily visited the DIG, SSP, SP and other bosses for meetings, appeared in courts and visited crime spots. There will be no car available for patrolling once the SHO gets stuck somewhere in an official vehicle.

When contacted, Senior Superintendent of Police Operations Peshawar Mansoor Aman said in urban areas there were additional over 20 vehicles of the City Patrol Force for patrolling. Besides, he added, the police stations were given around 103 motorbikes for patrolling in past years which will be repaired and replaced soon.

Another official said that the KP Police authorities have written to the government recently, seeking the provision of more official vehicles for police stations as well as increasing the funds for petrol and other expenses.