ISLAMABAD: Crimes in Pakistan often go unreported and victims of crime endure long delays and mandatory searches when entering police stations to file First Information Reports (FIR) while proper interview facilities are lacking at many police stations which further frustrates the process for both crime victims and police officers.
The laborious process for filing an FIR is improving, thanks to an innovative partnership between the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police and the US government’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Agency (INL) and International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), says a press release issued by the US Embassy here on Monday.
With its focus on crime control, community policing, and public service, the ICT Police developed a concept to create special Police Reporting Rooms (PRRs) at areas adjacent to police stations. PRRs spare crime victims the difficulty of having to enter the secure areas of police stations, it adds.
The US government, through INL and ICITAP, helped the ICT Police formulate its plan for a modular, purpose-built PRR that could be quickly constructed and easily replicated. Once the plan was in place, INL funded the construction of 12 reporting rooms at police stations around Islamabad, which will serve as models for other stations across Pakistan.
“Criminals cannot be pursued or prosecuted unless the police are aware that a crime has occurred,” said US Embassy INL Director Richard Sacks at a ceremony inaugurating the first PRR at Islamabad’s Shalimar Police Station. “By creating reporting rooms that are easily accessible, comfortable, well-lit, and quiet, victims will be more likely to take that important first step of filing an FIR.”
Inspector General of Police Bani Amin Khan thanked the US government for supporting the ICT Police, saying: “These new reporting rooms will not only help crime victims, but also make it easier for police to record and investigate crimes.”
The US government is committed to strengthening law enforcement in Pakistan. In addition to building PRRs and other infrastructure, INL also donates equipment to improve policing in Pakistan.
It has provided 11 armored personnel carriers, more than 3,000 protective vests, hundreds of mobile and handheld radios, 100 motorcycles, and a water tanker which provides drinking water to police forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
INL has also trained police officers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh, and Punjab provinces, the ICT, FATA Levies, and other civilian law-enforcement entities in areas, such as leadership, criminal investigations, human rights, civil disturbance management, and police command and control.