Role of AVLS in maintaining law & order in Punjab | By Muhammad Nadeem Bhatti


Role of AVLS in maintaining law & order in Punjab

Police reform is one of the greatest challenges provoking Pakistan. There are no easy answers and shortcuts because the performance of police and law enforcement agencies is one of the eminent aspects related to our country’s social environment.

And it is a sad reality that in the past, our police force was managed and trained poorly. And perhaps the main reason behind that is our management’s persistent failure to invest in law enforcement reform and modernization.

Half-hearted execution of reforms, structural problems, corruption, political manipulation, and inadequate training and investigation facilities hinder effective policing in the country.

Contrary to that, better policing will increase the government’s credibility and help establish its writ in zones and areas where militant groups are increasing their influence.

However, we are currently noticing some notable reforms in the police department, and the game is changing entirely due to young talent being recruited and given top positions.

To reduce vehicle theft from the streets, the government of Punjab has launched a mobile application for the Anti-Vehicle Lifting System (AVLS), so that police officers can check the details of the stolen vehicles at any time and any place.

Through the application, the police officials can access a provincial database of cars, buses, and other vehicles which have either been reported stolen, snatched, under-investigation, recovered, forensic testing, their status in court cases, and handed over vehicles to their owners.

According to stats, the vehicles snatched in 36 districts have been centralized. The police officers are also instructed to upload the details of any vehicle reported stolen in the province onto the system through the mobile application.

This will help all authorized police officers across the province to check the details of stolen vehicles at any moment or place by simply entering the vehicle’s registration number in the mobile app.

This will also help them track down those vehicles without following long and time-taking manual procedures.

In addition, the government is also thinking of granting limited access to the application to the general public, allowing them to instantly add details of their stolen vehicles on the app before going to the police stations.

Sources further reveal that the application will be useful outside the Punjab province, as many vehicles stolen from these areas are mostly smuggled to different parts of the country which are not in Punjab.

However, it is unclear for now whether the mobile application has any satellite-based global positioning or tracking system in place or not to track the stolen vehicles from the province.

According to the data shared by police, the authorities have registered 7,907 vehicle theft cases across the province from January to May 2019, and out of those, 2,941 cases have been solved.

Out of the remaining cases, 4,174 are still under investigation, 416 cases were untraced, and 323 were dropped altogether.

Recently, while conducting an operation, the Anti-Vehicle Lifting System (AVLS) recovered vehicles worth Rs 47 million and arrested 21 criminals belonging to 8 different gangs.

Addressing a press conference in Saddar Division Lahore, the officials stated that 21 culprits with a former professional record of stealing and snatching had been arrested, adding that 165 motorcycles, and 13 vehicles, were recovered from the arrested culprits.

In addition, five police personnel were involved too in that theft. The accused, dressed in the uniform, revealed he had done several incidents of snatching vehicles and motorcycles.

These arrests will suggestively decrease the frequency of theft. Also, it is suggested that the citizens need to install trackers in their vehicles as it has become a vital accessory that can make the cars safe from being stolen.

Crime is still increasing with every passing day as the country is struggling with inflation. Moreover, the floods have made the situation even worse, and people are forced to do criminal activities due to price hikes.

The price hike has made it difficult for a common man to survive easily. In a social session with Rana Zahid Hussain (SP AVLS), I came to know that police have been doing an overall great job.

He informed me that on the order of CCPO (Ghulam MehmoodDogar), he and his team helped a man named Fazal Elahi recover his carwithin 4 hours (FIR No: # 26/75),which was been snatched from the ring road at gunpoint.

The man went to the police station of Gujjar Pura and filed an FIR, after which the police took strict action and, using the tracker’s location installed in that car, recovered the vehicle.

Adding to that, Mr.Rana Zahid also informed me that using the efficient tracking system and taking help from the CCTV footage, the police department also recovered a fire brigade truck and a LESCO vehicle which was reported missing.

Other than the performance of the police officials, these incidents are a strong indication for the government departments and officialsthat even they and the vehicles in their use are not safe from criminals and the people who have put them on the radar.

The government should make it mandatory for every government organization, department, and citizen to install a decent and practical tracker that can help the authorities to recover their vehicles if snatched.

Also, citizens are also informed to insure their vehicles so that whenever their car, jeep, or motorcycle gets snatched, they can get the amount equivalent to their vehicle.

Although the police department is working hard to make the citizens’ vehicles safe, is it mandatory to put all those criminals behind bars for at least 5 years involved in snatching?

To afford a car is not a joke in Pakistan, and it has become a luxury in our country.

And the people who try to snatch these or try to sell the vehicles people buy with their hard-earned money should be given a strict punishment and heavy penalty so that nobody ever tries to perform such kind of criminal activity.

The Writer is a Senior Crime& Legal AnalystCan be found at [email protected]

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