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January 14, 2021

How the police culture could be changed

Islamabad

January 14, 2021

Islamabad : Although, the police high ups would make the administration happy, showing the crime statistic with the downward trend of street crime but could they satisfy the public who are practically facing deteriorating crime situation at every step.

The public does not want to believe that the incidence of crime is decreasing and fear of becoming a victim continues to rise. But, the police authorities, responsible for keeping peace and providing protection to the people, instead of making a range of much tougher anti-crime measures, feel good to feed impractical crime statistics to their bosses. While two persons in five have been made a target by the street criminals and believed that the police authorities use their ability to lessen the crime on paper, instead of making strategies to combat crimes.

Astonishing crime ratio, once again, caused a sense of insecurity amongst the people, which indicates that no locality, no street or no market is out of reach of the criminal gangs’ active, almost, in every area of the city. The people believe that the concocted crime figure shows that the law and order situation in the Rawalpindi city is rapidly slipping from bad to worse as it could be gauged easily by the number of incidents carjacking, robberies and armed dacoities taking place within the city. Police bosses, however, rely only on tall claims of curbing the crime and tightening the noose against criminals.

Residents are, however, cynical about the performance of the police force. The people believe that the police have badly failed in securing the lives and property of citizens, so it would be much better to disband it quickly because there was no let-up in the audacious robberies and dacoities. They allege that the hard-earned money of the public was being squandered to keep this force afloat.

People of different localities also believe that police personnel have developed a nexus with criminal gangs; otherwise, it could not be a daunting task for them to arrest thieves. Some of them even allege that police personnel patronise different gangs of burglars, robbers, and car-lifters and obtain their share from them after a successful attempt. Apart from these allegations, the involvement of police personnel in dacoities and burglaries has surfaced many times. The people hailing from other parts of the country know this fact well as it is no more a secret now.

The authorities don’t believe in a change of ‘Thana Culture’, means not to provide protection and peaceful atmosphere to the people.

Thana culture is often defined as a culture of repression, abuse of authority, highhandedness, misconduct, commendation (favouritism), unsociability, ruffian, pessimism, corruption, partisan, inefficiency, indifference and many other negative social attributes where no law exists. The edifice, where nobody can keep his respect breathing where poor and voiceless people are shamed and where the ‘Thana’ is taken as an abuse. The place where everyone is mistreated, either he is a victim or accused.

The episodes of police brutality, pathetic service delivery, and public dealing are being reported every day, leaving the question of improvement in the functioning of the department aside, many such cases surface on daily basis.

Bearing in mind the police power to conduct a raid is a burning issue. Legally, the police, law enforcement agencies, or any other agency are not allowed to enter a house without a warrant. However, police used their power to arrest a suspect merely on information to ‘prove’ their nuisance values. This power needs to be redefined, new SoPs, and checks and balances must clearly be distinct.

However, to change the ‘Thana Culture’ has turned out to be a political jingle. Claims of ending ‘thana’ culture bite the dust.

Political elements require a strong and strengthened SHO who is well aware of misusing his powers to favour them without any fear of law.

to be continued…