Success Stories of Punjab Safe Cities Authority (Lahore)

19 Aug 2017

Ehtisham Liaquat, VCC

Before joining Punjab Safe Cities Authority as Police Communication officer, I used to think that food, clothes and shelter are basic needs of every person. But now I think, safety is another thing which is equally necessary for every citizen of Pakistan. Safety situations vary country to country and even city to city. And for government or leadership of any country, providing security and safety to their citizens must be at the top of the priority list.

In 21st century, technology is providing solution in every field of life. A lot of countries took the initiative to change their policing system and introduce technology in their work. Some of them with full functionalities and majority of them with limited functionalities. Even criminals and terrorists are using technology for their activities and to achieve their targets against the innocent people. So, without being introducing technology and advance tools in Law enforcement and security institutions, it is impossible to provide safety and security to peoples. So if I say that we should need a safe city equipped with latest technological tools for policing then it is not wrong.

In Pakistan, first Safe city solution started working in Capital city Islamabad in 2016. Approximately 2000 cameras installed on different locations to ensure security situations with some other integrated features as well. I don’t want to go in details as we already aware of basic features of safe city and how it works. If I repeat shortly then actually it is an integration of all law enforcement functions at one place to make it convenient to collect and share complete information regarding traffic, operations and investigation as well as it becomes easier to respond quickly in all kind of emergency situations.

PPIC3 (Punjab Police Integrated Command Control & Communication) Center is the most advanced command center not only in Pakistan but with any Police organization in the world which is established by Punjab Safe Cities Authority and this authority is managing this center while operational tasks of this center are performed by Lahore Police. This first command control and communication center had started working in Lahore on 11 October 2016 with the successful monitoring of Ashura Event during the month of Muharram. And I as member of Operational team of Command and control Center Lahore, want to discuss the journey of success till today.

This article, especially for those who ask why this much money has been invested a lot of money on this project. What is the output? My friends ask me why are you here since last 09 months? What have you done so far? All those who are questioning will get the detail answer in near future when they will read success stories of this center in newspapers or on electronic and social media. But here, in short, I want to tell you that till now complete network of cameras is installed in one division of Lahore. Still 5 more divisions remaining. Complete network of ANPR (Automated Number Plate Readable) cameras is underway. A network of Facial Recognition cameras is under construction with many other functionalities including LTE-Advance network in the whole city.

I am sharing a short detail of some incidents from January 2017 to onward and working of PPIC3 (Punjab Police Integrated Command Control & Communication Center) on them.

Public Health: Adulteration 08-1-2017 – OMC department who is monitoring cameras live, detected an illegal activity near zaman park where two Milk Man mixed a water in milk. Dolphin dispatched on the spot and caught them. Case forwarded to relevant police station as well as to Punjab Food Authority with video evidence for further inquiry. Media also gave coverage to this incident.

Theft 17-01-2017 – OMC observed a suspicious person on a camera near Mall road & Canal Intersection. On observing keenly, it is detected that he was thief and hiding some car mirrors at canal bank side. Dolphin dispatched on the spot and caught him red handed.

Murder Case 07-02-17 – A young boy opened a fire on a man near session court. Man died on the spot. People caught the killer. Safe city camera recorded the whole story and presented on a court as a final evidence against him.

Terrorism 13-02-2017 – A sad incident occurred at Faisal Chow near Assembly Hall. It was a suicide blast during a protest of drugs association. And it’s happened when high police officials were negotiation with them. DIG Capt. Mubeen and SSP Zahid Gondal and 08 other police and civilians were martyred. Safe City Cameras recorded the whole incident and traced the route of suicide bomber and his helper on cameras at different locations on Mall. We helped all Investigation Agencies who were investigating this incident. And in result, CTD successfully caught the Suicide bomber helper within 72 Hours.

Mega Sports Events 05-03-17 – A grand PSL Final Match in Lahore was held only after 22 days of the terrorist incident. Lahore Police and Safe Cities Authority made that possible despite serious security threats after Faisal chowk incident of February 2017. A complete security of Players was ensured from their hotel to stadium and then again stadium to hotel. PPIC3 Centre was watching everything live on safe city cameras and ensuring their security under command of senior Police officers of Lahore Police.

Blind Murder 14-03-17 – A man opened a fire on 03 police officers when they were going to investigate some case. They martyred. It was happened in night near azadi chowk. Safe city camera recorded the whole incident. Killer image after clearing his face delivered to relevant police station for investigation.

Robbery 22-03-17 – Two robbers snatched cash and a mobile from a boy on gunpoint at jail road in night. Safe city camera recorded the whole incident. Complete video and Images of snatchers after clearing their face delivered to relevant police stations for investigation.

Surveillance and Tracking 26-03-17 – Police officers from investigation branch contacted PPIC3 center to trace the route of Two Cars which were involved in firing case. Successfully traced the route. Car detected at more than 10 different locations. Evidence delivered to police officials including the number of both cars.

Street Crime 28-03-17 – A robbery happened on gun point inside street near Queens road. On a victim’s 15 call, PPIC3 center traced the route of robbers and detected them on more than 5 different locations. Evidence with their faces delivered to relevant police station for further inquiry.

06-04-17 – Two young boys snatched a purse from a lady who was sitting in a car and ran away. They don’t know that safe city camera is watching them. Video evidence with snatcher images delivered to relevant police station for investigations.

23-04-17 – Again two young boys on a bike snatched a purse and mobile on gun point from a boy near canal road. PPIC3 center traced the route of snatchers and detected at more than 5 different locations. There images after clearing them with the help of forensic, delivered to relevant police station.

30-04-17 – Robbery on gunpoint near panorama center at mall road. Video and images of criminals after clearing with the help of forensic, delivered to relevant Police Stations.

Car Theft  08-04-17 – A land cruiser was stolen near Qaddafi Stadium. Relevant police station contacted PPIC3 center for searching it on cameras. Incident detected on a camera and delivered to PS with the faces of thieves.

12-04-17 – A car got theft from an Anarkali area. Police who investigating the case contacted PPIC3 for finding an evidence in a camera. Whole incident detected and evidence delivered to them after clearing the image of thief.

Prevention of Drugs 14-04-17 – Early morning, OMC monitored, there were 3 drug dealers selling drugs to people near canal road. Dolphin dispatched immediately. On dolphin arrival, they tried to run away but caught. And this whole story is recorded by safe city camera.

Murder 04-05-17 – Two person died in a firing at Kalma Chowk. Safe city camera recoded the video from a distance. Helped investigation agency for further inquiry.

Fire Emergency 18-05-17 – Fire caught in a shop when it was closed. It happened in night at shalimar link road. Safe city camera recoded that incident and cleared that it was not a short circuit. Somebody fired in a shop.

Car Theft 09-06-2017 – Investigation officer from mazang police station contacted us to find a car that was stolen from mazang area. Successfully traced the route of car and during that we also got the number of bike on which thief came.

Planned Event – Youm-e-Ali (R.A) 17-06-2017 – It was an important event of Youm-e-Ali(R.A). Safe city specially installed 80 Cameras to ensure the security of procession. CCPO Lahore also monitored the whole event in PPIC3.

Assault on Police 04-07-2017 – 03 boys started beating traffic warden near shadman chowk when he was checking their documents. Dolphin and police from relevant police station dispatched on the spot. They caught all the boys and took them to police station. Video Evidence delivered to them for further inquiry.

Theft 13-07-2017 – Gun point robbery happened with famous artist near Ptv Station. On receiving 15 call, we successfully traced the robbers. Their faces pictures delivered to relevant police station for further investigation.

These are some of the real short success stories till July 2017. But these are not all stories. A lot of more which I am not describing here for protection of privacy and protecting the ongoing investigations. But In short, I want to tell you that more than 100 cases have been worked out and 1000 pieces of electronic evidence is being shared with the investigation division of Lahore Police. Also Safe city cameras recorded more than 250 Accidents so far. Soon a media campaign is about to be started to educate the public about their safety. More than 30 cases related to police behavior were also reported involving suspicious activities which may lead to corruption. Because we are monitoring everyone.

I know you have another question in your mind that which people are running this center? Who is monitoring and tracing crimes? Is it Lahore Police? Yes, Of Course it is Lahore Police. But not that police which is in your mind right now. They are newly recruited IT Graduates including males and females who are trained how to use the most advance technologies. As well as they have life skill training so they are expert to handle the situation efficiently. I am also one of them and I am here completely on merit after passing test and interview. And I am proud to be a part of this department. And for all that, Credit goes to whole leadership of Punjab Safe Cities Authority and especially to political leadership and leading team of Punjab Safe Cities Authority. With the hard work and good management of him, this dream has come true.

But still with this ongoing project, we have done few important cases and some details are given. After reading this you will know that what has been done and also will be able to imagine that what we will do after the completion of this project. So if you are peaceful citizen of Lahore then be happy, we are going to provide you smart security in near future. And if you are criminal, then be sure, we will soon trace you till your home.