Punjab Cabinet okays organising of sexual assault response groups in all districts

The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday authorized organising of sexual assault response groups (SARTs) in all of the districts of Punjab.

“The restructured force, with 716 new critical posts against 820 existing non-essential or vacant ones, will focus more on the core areas of women safety, counter-terrorism, crowd control and anti-riot, among others. The restructuring process, to be conducted across verticals and functions in a revenue-neutral manner, will make the manpower robust to enable it to handle policing, investigation and prosecution more effectively,” an official spokesperson stated.

“The restructured force, in which 5,000 new constables will be recruited, will also provide for recruitment of civilian experts in fields like information technology and law, besides strengthening of the Directorates of Prosecution and Litigation, Forensic Science Laboratory, Chemical Examiner and Legal Rememberancer,” the spokesperson stated.

“It has also been decided to set up family counselling units in all the districts, to handle crime cases against children and vulnerable groups. While the smaller districts would have one team/unit each, the bigger ones would have more,” DGP Dinkar Gupta stated after the Cabinet assembly, including that these groups/items can be created by re-designating and re-training police officers for specialised features.

“In exercise of this decision, 34 Sub-Inspectors each will be redesignated as in-charge SART and as counselling coordinator. 34 constables each would be redesignated as counseling officer SART and crime scene officer SART. In addition, there shall be re-designated posts of 382 assistant child protection officers, 121 cyber crime investigation officers and 302 as counselling officers,” the DGP stated.

“Further, it has been decided to re-deploy/transfer/attach 819 posts of Constables (to be filled up through fresh direct recruitment of women) from the armed cadre to the district cadre due to their greater cutting-edge utility in districts,” Gupta added.

“To improve conviction rate and for better delivery of criminal justice, especially in cases of heinous crimes, the prosecution department will be strengthened with the creation of 168 posts, while the Forensic Science Laboratory would get additional 84 posts and Chemical Examiner wing would be augmented by 12 posts. The Legal Rememberancer would be provided 16 more posts under the restructuring process,” the DGP stated.

“Given the increasing traffic volumes, especially in large cities, the Cabinet has also approved creation of 15 posts for hiring road safety associates as consultants by the DGP at competitive market rates, after suitable price discovery has been completed. The DGP has also been authorised to engage 50 additional consultants from among civilian experts in departments such as IT and legal, in view of the growing challenges of tackling specialised crimes,” the official spokesperson stated.

“In line with the global policing trends of deploying uniformed personnel for core policing duties, while inducting civilian staff for other related work, the Cabinet has given the go-ahead to the creation of 413 posts of ministerial staff for performing office work in the districts and at police headquarters,” the spokesperson added.

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