LAHORE - Another seven hundred cadets last week passed out of the Lahore police training college to join the first-ever Dolphin Squad. The unique patrolling force will exclusively fight street-crimes in big cities of the province including Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, and Bahawalpur districts.
Early last year, the first-batch comprising 688 Dolphin police cadets was deployed in Lahore as they completed their training. The provincial government had announced the establishment of this patrolling police in June 2014.
Following the pattern of the first-ever batch, the second batch was also handed over 300 heavy motorbikes with 550 helmets, besides, all required accessories and gadgets. According to the SOP devised for the dolphin force, a squad of two motorcycles with four policemen would patrol on roads to fight criminals.
The new patrolling plan, which is expected to cost the provincial exchequer in billions of rupees in terms of training and logistics, is not only helping police hunt down street criminals but also ensure quick response in case of any untoward happening.
Police officers say they believe the armed patrolling by Dolphin units on busy roads and in narrow streets will surely downgrade crime rate across the province.
The hours-long passing out ceremony took place at the Chuhng police training college on Saturday. The entire provincial hierarchy including chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Police Inspector General Arif Nawaz Khan, provincial ministers, secretaries, MPAs, and top police officers attended the ceremony.
During the passing parade ceremony, young police officers showed their skills and energies before a large audience by performing stunts and acrobats. Spectators applauded amid drum beating as dolphin squads marched past before the guests.
The chief minister while addressing the participants of the passing parade ceremony termed the establishment of the new police units as a landmark and said that the initiative would help make the cities more peaceful. The chief minister also hoped that the newly-raised police force would improve image of the Punjab Police by winning the support and trust of the people through good performance, hard work, and polite attitude.
The chief minister also said that modern training courses were imparted to the Dolphin Force and, “now the force should struggle to prove that it deserve this status through hard work.” He said the Dolphin Force should come up to the expectations of the public and move forward by acting on the golden principals of determination, courage, and professionalism
The initiative of smart patrolling police on the pattern of Turkish national police was launched in Lahore on March 30. During the peak hours of crime happenings, some seven hundred police patrol city roads for eight hours to exclusively fight street crimes.
According to official statistics, Lahore witnessed almost 30 percent decrease in the incidents of street robberies since the new patrolling units were employed to fight criminals involved in robberies. Last year, the Lahore police had reported at least 151 street robberies during the month of April 2016 as compared to 304 incidents registered in April 2015. The comparative data analysis shows that the street robberies dropped significantly in Lahore’s Model Town, Iqbal Town, Sadar, and Cantonment police divisions.
Police sources said the dolphin squads patrol city roads from 02:00pm to 10:00pm and in some parts of the city from 03:00pm to 11:00pm. The dolphin squads are equipped with heavy bikes, android phones, and modern gadgetry. The squad’s movement is deeply monitored from the central operations room. Also, the digital crime-mapping disclosed to the authorities that the emergency phone calls seeking immediate police response swells significantly in Lahore from 04:00pm to 11:00pm.
Punjab’s big districts including Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan, and Bahawalpur districts will follow the Lahore policing model with regard to armed patrolling and fight against street criminals.
DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf, who helped authorities materialize the dream of highly-trained patrolling units in Lahore, says the digital policing are extensively helping officers bring down crime rate in the metropolis.
During the peak hours of crime happenings, he said, the police patrolling is intensified across the city.
“We are successfully countering the criminals since we focused on crime-prone areas”, he said. “We don’t have received even a single complaint of corruption or misbehaviour against the personnel of Dolphin Force this year so far. The new patrolling force is delivering wonderful results,” said Haider Ashraf.
The successful launch of this force would not only help control street crimes but also improve the consecutive patrolling and picketing system in the provincial capital, he added. “This initiative has added a new vigour to the largest law enforcing agency in its fight against criminals. Surely, this will also help police maintain peace in the big cities of the province,” Haider Ashraf said. The new patrolling police units would not only create a soft image of the police but also would improve a sense of security among the citizens.
Haider Ashraf was of the view that the crime rate would further decrease across the province particularly in the big cities when the Dolphin Force would start patrolling there. Following its successful launch in Lahore, the multi-billion project has been extended to five other districts of the Punjab province.