National Police Bureau (NPB) is spearheading the transformation of police organizations in Pakistan through technology and digitalization. As a federal body under the Ministry of the Interior, NPB is mandated with standardizing, promoting IT-based solutions, and coordinating efforts among all police organizations.

In this connection, NPB with logistic support of UNODC organized a “National Conference on Leveraging IT for Effective Policing” in Islamabad. The conference aimed to review progress on IT-based initiatives within the Criminal Justice System, identify gaps and challenges, exchange information on existing and proposed IT developments, and enhance inter-agency connectivity, cooperation, and coordination.

Dr. Ehsan Sadiq, Director General, National Police Bureau, welcomed all participants in his opening remarks. He explained that police departments across the country are now utilizing various IT-based solutions to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement. These solutions include Safe City Projects, Complaint Management System (CMS), criminal databases, digitalization of FIRs, crime mapping, and Hotel Eye. The integration of these IT-based solutions with other systems used in the Criminal Justice System will enhance overall efficiency to strengthen law enforcement. Furthermore, he emphasized the need to devise a mechanism to evaluate the impact of these innovations on crime prevention and the creation of a safer society. Syed Arsalan, Adviser, Counter Terrorism Program, UNODC, commended the NPB’s efforts for leading technological transformation within the police and criminal justice system.

Policy formulation was a key topic at the conference, with a focus on developing policies and guidelines for the ethical use of automation in law enforcement and the Criminal Justice System. This included considerations of legal, privacy, and human rights issues, ensuring that the deployment of new technologies is both effective and responsible. Building capacity was another critical aim of the conference, with efforts to identify training opportunities that will equip law enforcement professionals and stakeholders with the skills needed to use new tools and systems effectively.

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In the inaugural session, Mr. Riffat Mukhtar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Interior, graced the conference as the chief guest. Distinguished speakers included Mr. Aetzaz Ahmed Goraya, Deputy Inspector General of Police, CTD Balochistan Police; Mr. Azhar Rasheed, Director General, National Academy for Prisons Administration (NAPA); Mr. Syed Ghayas Anwar, Additional Director, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA); Mr. Zeeshan Ullah, Deputy Director, KP Prosecution; and Mr. Shahid Shafiq, District and Session Judge Karachi (online). They delivered comprehensive presentations on the use of technology and best practices in the Criminal Justice System.

During the panel discussion, the panelists addressed various issues and challenges, and explored the transition from data management to data analytics to improve service delivery, operational effectiveness, and accountability in Criminal Justice System.

The Conference was attended by the senior leadership from all police organizations, representatives from prison, prosecution, judiciary, government ministries, civil society, and media. This broad participation aimed to foster a comprehensive dialogue and collaborative efforts towards the technological transformation of policing in Pakistan.