At last....

The News, August 12, 2005
Project for automation of police record okayed

Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The government has approved an ambitious Rs 1.4 billion project aimed at automation of complete policing record including the crime details in all 1,350 police stations of 120 districts of Pakistan.

To be initiated from capital police stations and intended to be completely implemented all over Pakistan in 36 months, the project would help create an easy accessible countrywide database of all criminals, crime registered, absconders etc besides the details of police officials and their career details.

Project named as Police Record and Office Management Information System (Promis), was prepared by the National Police Bureau of the Interior Ministry. In its last meeting on August 4, the Ecnec has approved the project and allocated Rs 1.4 b for its immediate implementation.

Celebrated police reformer and Director General National Police Bureau Dr Shoaib Suddle when contacted said that the project would bring a major change in the society and would considerably help in police accountability.

A former IG Police and yet another expert on policing matters Afzal Shigri said that the system once implemented would bring Pakistan at par with advanced countries with respect to tracking criminals and suspects.

As a first step, all the police stations in the federal capital would be fully automated by the end of this year. According to sources, 'fully automated' means that all the crime and police record would be available on the screen of computer and could be accessible not only by other police stations but also by police superiors and the interior ministry.

Such interlinking will also be extended to non-police segments of criminal justice system including courts and prisons. This automated on-line interlinking would help both to check crime and track down fugitives who in the present scenario are unapproachable after crossing the limits or thana, district or province. This data sharing facility to be provided to all police stations in all parts of country, it is said, would in particular help the law enforcers to fight against serious and organized crimes.

Promis, the sources said, caters for all the requirement of police department and can be termed as a comprehensive police management information system, covering all aspects of police functioning i.e. from registration of first information report (FIR) to budgeting. It is said that the provision of basic IT infrastructure would enhance police efficiency and effectiveness.

Presently every police station has 25 registers, each covering specific area like one containing FIR details, another having details about criminals etc. All these registers would be computerized by designing and development of software providing the required services to various police branches.

The project also envisages development of citizen's complaints management system to provide e-service to them and bring transparency in police-citizen interaction. All the police stations in 120 district of Pakistan covering Punjab police, Sindh police, NWFP police, Balochistan police, Northern Areas police, Railways police, Federal Investigation Agency, AJK police, Islamabad Capital Territory police and the National Police Bureau are encompassed in this project.

To achieve the objectives of the project and to ensure its successful implementation, a huge training programme has been designed. All police training institutions in the country are equipped with computer labs and other necessary skills to provide computer related skills to police officials in all grades.

There is a consideration to link the computer training with the career progression of policemen. Under the same system complete career chart of every police official will be developed to help the authorities to better utilize his services or address his weaknesses.

In Shigri's view this project should be centrally controlled and commanded by the FIA instead of the Police Bureau which is a think tank. Shigri expects that the access to the police information would remain restricted in order to avoid misusing of the available information.

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