‘Quick response’ police squads to help curb street crime

Jan 19, 2015
FAISALABAD: Following a surge in street crime in the city and murder of two businessmen during robberies, the district police have decided to form “quick response” force for patrolling the busy city spots.
During the last one week, two local businessmen had been gunned down by robbers, one each in the precincts of Peoples Colony and Madina Town police, respectively.
Local traders and industrialists, blaming police for their failure to curb street crime, have announced that they would themselves catch and punish robbers if such an incident happened in future.
For arrest of the killers, the business community had given 72-hours to police and the deadline expired today (Monday).
A delegation of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FCCI) led by its president Rizwan Ashraf had met the City Police Officer (CPO) Sohail Habib Tajik and expressed their grave concern over the deteriorating law and order situation.
Alamdar Shah, an executive member of the FCCI, told Dawn on Sunday that the CPO had been told that all segments of society, particularly businessmen, were feeling insecure owing to police lethargy as robbers had been looting the houses and industrial units even in broad daylight.
He also sought setting up of committees at each police station level comprising police and citizens to resolve the issue of non-registration of cases.
An industrialist, who was also part of the meeting, told Dawn that they rejected the police’s crime statistics terming them fictitious.
Police were claiming with the help of statistics that crime was declining in the district, although the reality was otherwise, he said, seeking anonymity.
“People are being looted and police make them shuttlecock during the complex and tedious process of case registration,” he said.
Crime statistics would remain low when people would not contact police for registration of FIR considering it an exercise in futility, he said.
He said those who approached police with a complaint were pestered with irrelevant questions, calling them repeatedly to police station on the pretext of “identification parade”.
He said many businessmen had been forced to rely on private security because of the police negligence.
The FCCI president said police officials were not registering cases after the crime incidents. He asked the CPO that registration of cases required no extra resources but will of the officers.
A former chairman of the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Khawaja Amjad, said a couple of days ago his relative had been looted and it took him 10 days to get an FIR registered.
He said incidents of pursue and mobile snatching were common in the district and a majority of people was not reporting the cases to police.
An another industrialist said robbers had looted his factory and police instead of registering an FIR said the robbery was a drama staged only for getting an insurance claim.
The CPO said efforts were being made to protect the people’s life and property. He said “quick response” teams would be formed to patrol the markets and other busy spots in the city.
Police claimed that crime had declined in the district in 2014 as compared to the corresponding period in 2013.
(Daily Dawn)