Imagine for a moment, you are a
“common man” in Pakistan, without having any influence, money or link to the
higher authorities. Now, a rival of yours has registered a false FIR against you
and you have been arrested by the police. What will happen to you next?
Proving yourself innocent would be a long-haul as the traditional police and
judicial system takes a long time to determine the fate of a defendant.
But what if I tell you that you can deal with such a situation miraculously,
since technology has been made use of by Punjab Police in helping the citizens
Province-wide online Police Complaint Centre has been introduced by the
Inspector General Police, Punjab Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera in February this
year, which has proved to be a revolutionary change in traditional policing and
public service system. Mostly people complain about the rude and unsupportive
behavior of the police personnel, bribery, denial of FIR, registering a false
FIR, faulty investigations etc.
But now, using modern means of communication like SMS, Call, Email and Web, you
can register the complaint against these problems in an online database
accessible to both the higher ranked police officials to take necessary action
and to the complainant for further follow-up of the application through
tracking. This not only makes the process paper-less and environment friendly
but retrieval of the records is also quite easy for police officials.
A complaint can be registered by Calling 8787, sending an SMS or an email and
also through website. A public-friendly pool of I.T oriented young men and women
receive complaints at Police Complaint Centre and forward the complaint to the
officer of the rank of not less than DSP. An SMS with name and details of the
officer concerned is sent to the complainant also. Police officers of the
respective region are bound to provide feedback within eight hours of the filing
of the complaint. Complaint Centre takes follow-up from the complainant by
calling them and ensures that they are contacted by the officer concerned.
Follow-up on complaints is also regularly checked in system and “not-responding”
officers are called to respond on the issue. After complete investigation of the
issue, the officer concerned submits their report through online system. The
complainant is asked if they are satisfied with it. If the answer is “No”, the
level of investigation is upgraded to a higher ranked officer. The process
continues and the complaint is not disposed-off until the complainant is
The system is being monitored at multiple levels from Complaint Centre to the
IGP. Police official of all ranks are held accountable if any laxity is shown.
Departmental action is taken against the officers who intentionally do not
redress complaints of the public.
AIG complaints Syed Khurram Ali, supervising the IGP’s Police Complaint Centre
at Central Police Office shared the objectives of this initiative:
“People used to travel hundreds of miles from far-flung areas to submit their
complaints in-person to the IG Police in open courts or used to send their
applications through traditional by-post channel which took a lot of time and
the response was very late. The Police Complaint Centre is serving the citizens
through digital means of communication which not only save their time and money
but also helps in speedy remedy to their complaints. Quick response, follow-up
and feedback mechanism, well-monitored system, accountability of the police
officers, tempering-free software and most importantly, satisfaction of the
complainants are some of the valuable features of this Police Complaint Centre.”
Around 14000 complaints have been registered since inception of the Police
Complaint Centre in February, 2016 through different sources. 71% complaints
have been disposed of while the remaining 29% are in process. Such high
complaints’ disposal rate has proved that the latest use of technology by the
Punjab Police to address public grievances is very effective.
Out of the resolved complaints, 37% complaints were disposed of as a result of
redress of the complaint, 35% complaints proved to be false, 15% resolved on a
compromise between both the parties while 13% complaints were on non-cognizable
issues where police cannot directly intervene.
Responsible citizens are requested to not to use 8787 as an emergency No. as it
does not deal such situations. Any citizen who has an emergency and needs police
help should immediately call “15”. All other complaints relating to police
should be registered by calling 8787 so that citizens are provided with maximum
help by police authorities to redress their complaints.