4,000-strong force to police Punjab at night

In A first-of-its-kind initiative in the country,a 4,000-strong dedicated force will guard Punjab at night — from its dhabas to call centres,highways and toll barriers.

Written by Express News Service | Ajitgarh | Updated: April 9, 2014 5:41:01 pm

In A first-of-its-kind initiative in the country,a 4,000-strong dedicated force will guard Punjab at night — from its dhabas to call centres,highways and toll barriers. Created with an independent cadre,the Night Policing Scheme (NPS) will have its own command and structure. It will guard cities and towns on national and state highways and major roads to “instill a sense of security” among citizens.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal on Sunday launched the force with fanfare at Khanpur in Mohali by flagging off a contingent of night patrolling vehicles and inaugurating a highway patrol centre. “The force will cover all entry and exit points,vulnerable points,sensitive institutions,outlying residential colonies and areas of all cities and major towns of the state,” said Sukhbir.

It will provide a secure environment for night commerce — restaurants,dhabas,eateries,street hawkers and those working in night shifts such as doctors,nurses,call centre employees,toll barrier and excise barrier employees. The increased police presence,Sukhbir said,will deter criminals and anti-social elements as well as curb offenses such drink driving,overspeeding and rash driving.

The force is also aimed at prevention of offences such as thefts and burglaries,especially from banks and ATMs,carjacking,truckjacking,smuggling,illicit distillation of liquor and bootlegging. It will also result in increased excise revenue collections by curbing economic offences and illegal mining,said Sukhbir.

Later,while speaking to mediapersons,Sukhbir said: “The cadre will be equipped with security gadgets such as automatic vehicle locators (AVL) to track the location of highway patrol vehicles,mobile data terminals (MDT) to check the ownership of suspicious vehicles on the spot,police line tape rolls,first-aid kits,fluorescent vests,reflective batons,LED torches and weapons. A separate and dedicated POL allocation is being made for NPS vehicles to ensure an adequate supply of POL in all districts.”

As for its command structure,NPS will have a night duty roster mentioning duties of SPs,DSPs,SHOs and other police officers at night. A rotation system of duties has been worked out to ensure adequate rest to the force. The operation of the NPS will be monitored directly by senior police formations on a daily basis.

More than 4,000 police personnel would be out on the roads at night in 62 highway patrol vehicles,22 ambulances,cranes and recovery vans. As many as 1,014 police vehicles — both four wheelers and motorcycles — carrying around 2,500 police personnel would patrol the cities,towns,outlying colonies,vulnerable points and highways during the night.

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