LAHORE – The Punjab police, in a woke-up call to thwart bank robberies in the provincial capital, organised a special workshop in this regard at Qila Gujjar Singh Police Lines on Tuesday.

Almost 150 bank managers, SP (Operations) Civil Lines Police Division Omer Saeed Malik, DSP Racecourse Circle Safdar Raza Kazmi, DSP Mughalpura Circle Naeem-ul-Hasnain, DSP Qila Circle Khalid Mateen, SHO Shalimar Hussain Ali, SHO Gujjarpura Shahid Ali and SHO Mughalpura Shabir Awan, ASP Gulberg Mr Shahzad, and ASP Chung Mr Tariq participated in the workshop.

“A completely covered vantage point, speedy dialing system, properly trained security guards and effective coordination between banks managers and police department can prevent bank robberies in the City,” the speakers pointed out.

They suggested several other initiatives like having night vision specification, neighborhood watch security setup, proper utilisation of self and private defence, and maintenance of documentation of security guards could also helpful in foiling dacoity attempts. “By developing a strong communication network, among all the banks’ managers, security guards, and SHOs, DSPs and SPs, is integral in such circumstances for the safety of banks properties,” they further said.

The speakers highlighted the loopholes and poor security arrangements inside and around the banks. They said negligence regarding maintenance of registers about guards, outdated firearms, and bad short leave system for guards, replacing them by office boys and poor physical fitness of security men were always resulted into such untoward incidents. They also asked the managers to hold weekly meetings of their security guards, investigate their household problems, and develop close coordination with SHO concerned besides keeping the latter’s cell phone in Speedy Dialing List.

SDPO Mughalpura Circle Naeemul Hasnain advised the banks’ managers to get installed backup security cameras of good quality so that the hidden CCTV cameras may capture the footage of dacoits in case they sharply dislocate the visible cameras. “A properly covered vantage point should be established close to bank manager or cashier,” he said.

He said a proper alarm system, which should be connected with other banks, nearby shops or even nearby homes, must be there which can prevent dacoits to approach such bank. The SDPO further stressed upon the managers to ensure foolproof locker setup and also prepare special emergency plan for evacuation or to react in case of confrontation with the dacoits.

SP Omer Saeed Malik told the managers as, “Each bank manger, cashier and even security guard standing at vantage point must have a special button beneath their feet which should work like alarm system”. All the connected bodies like other banks, shops or homes should automatically know the purpose of pressing this button and the residents may phone to Emergency Police 15 or Police Station concerned for immediate action, he added.

To a query regarding registration of FIR against bank manager in case of bank dacoity, Mr Omar said, “This is an extreme step and worst example of poor coordination between police and bank administration that is why police have to lodge FIR against the manager in any kind of culpable negligence”.

 Responding to another query, the SP said untrained security guards did not know about the proper utilisation of self and private defence.

He further said in second phase, the Civil Lines Police Division will train the security guards of over 150 banks located in his division.