LAHORE - The Lahore police have stepped up working to create dolphin police unit in the provincial metropolis to control street crimes on the pattern of Turkish police by the end of this year, official sources said Saturday.

The Punjab police have already sent a summary to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for approval and budget allocations for the establishment of dolphin unit, most probably to be made operational by the end of 2014 in Lahore. In the first phase, the scheme will be launched in Lahore as pilot project.

Police sources say the concept to create the new patrolling force equipped with heavy bikes and modern gadgetry is being materialized to downgrade the rising street crimes in provincial capital.

In early June, the Punjab CM had announced that a Dolphin Unit would be launched in the Punjab police on the pattern of Dolphin Unit in Turkey to check street crimes.

Motorcycle Units or Dolphins are well-known police units in Turkey, where police officers are required to present their identity papers before approaching citizens.

Some field officers say the Lahore police are introducing yet another mechanism on the pattern of the Istanbul police’s Dolphin model to counter persistent street crime after various patrolling models failed to come up to the expectations of the citizens and the governments during the last couple of decades.

The new patrolling plan, which is expected to cost the provincial exchequer in millions or up to a billion rupees in terms of training and logistics, will not only help police hunt down criminals but also ensure quick response in case of any untoward happening.

Sources revealed that Additional-Inspector General of Police Capt (retd) Muhammad Amin Wains after assuming the charge of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) directed the authorities to step up working on the project.

In this regard, DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf chaired several meetings and also sought recommendations from the field officers before finalizing the strategy. A police spokesperson said that on the directions of Lahore CCPO Muhammad Amin Wains, the department has completed all the necessary paperwork to ensure successful and result-oriented launching of the new concept as per international standards.

According to sources, this special patrolling wing of the Lahore police would be equipped with 1250CC motorbikes and other latest communication technology to chase criminals. A team of the Dolphin Unit would consist of four police officials. The squad will be responsible for maintaining peace in their beats.

The provincial government had decided to launch the Dolphin model after the Mohafiz Force patrolling system (launched in 2007) came to an embarrassing end because of multiple factors – ranging from corruption to misuse of powers by policemen.

The motorcycles-led Mohafiz Force and a fleet of patrolling cars which operated under the command of the SP (Mujahid & Mobiles) had been wiped out after numerous public complaints. Sources say the dolphin police unit will work as a specialized patrolling wing under the supervision of an officer of the rank of SP or SSP. This branch will also work along with the police emergency service (Rescue-15) to ensure quick response after the crime incident takes place.

Some police officers were of the view that new mechanism with huge investment of resources will definitely bring the crime rate down provided the authorities would not shift it to the protocol duties. Unfortunately in this past, they said, any specialized force raised by the police authorities in certain period of times was utilized for duties like protocol and other general policing assignments. This should never happen again, the officers suggested on the condition of anonymity. As per the plan, Turkish police experts would train the officials of the Dolphin Unit, which would be connected to the command and control centre in Lahore. The government is also planning to install modern equipment at the centre with 1800 plus CCTV cameras. The command and control centre would also be completed by the end of this year, sources added.