PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police authorities have banned the use of smartphones by the cops during the duty hours so that they remain alert and respond effectively in case of any mishap.
A large number of police officers and cops used to be busy making videos, taking pictures and using social media on smartphones during the duty hours, resulting in poor level of alertness. Besides, a large number of videos and pictures of policemen, police offices and their duty points used to be uploaded daily on social media forums, making it easy for criminals and terrorists to observe their movement and routine.
An increase in attacks on policemen as well as their offices and other structures has been witnessed since last year. “You are directed to kindly ensure that lower subordinates are not allowed to use smartphones during patrolling, operational and security duties,” stated a letter issued by the additional inspector general of police operations, Muhammad Ali Babakhel, to the heads of all the units of the force.
The letter added that supervisory officers must ensure implementation of the directives regarding the use of smartphones. The letter did not mention any specific reason for imposing the ban.
A senior official said the excessive use of the smartphones by the cops were causing a number of issues, including poor level of alertness at a time when attacks on police were carried out in many parts of the province in the last many months.
“A number of policemen and their officers (even some senior ones) are so obsessed with social media that they do most of the things only to be uploaded on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok , WhatsApp or YouTube. Many remain busy in self-projection while misusing police uniform and resources of the force while others project few seniors to oblige them instead of performing their job,” an official said.
He added that hundreds of videos and photos were being uploaded daily by the cops while others would remain busy browsing one or the other social media network during the duty. “The ban was also imposed many times in the past but the cops continued using it during the duty hours,” said an official.
He added that poor level of alertness and focusing more on self-projection in media and social media instead of performing the duty added to the poor law and order, street crimes and other issues related to policing.