Combating heinous crimes through establishing a Serious Crime Investigation Wing (SCIW) in Balochistan

24 July 2023, Islamabad - The role of Police is paramount in maintaining public order and safety for the citizens in Balochistan. However, the province of Balochistan presents a highly volatile, dynamic and conflict-prone environment to the criminal justice actors, where the demands of preventing, detecting and investigating crimes are constantly evolving. As a result, there has been a noticeable spike in the rate of heinous crimes, such as homicide, gender based violence, child protection, armed robberies and other types of serious offences, creating insecurity and worsening the law and order situation in Balochistan. 

Among the constraints faced by the police in Balochistan, the insufficient numbers of skilled and qualified personnel in specialized fields of investigation is a key contributing factor along with a lack of capacity, skills and latest know-how in the investigation of heinous crimes. In addition, the existing fragmentation and disparity in the delivery of investigation services, such as first response mechanisms, scientific investigation through forensics, digitalization of criminal records and case management system result in a disconnect between police and public, worsening the level of service delivery of the police in Balochistan. 

In order to address the above-mentioned bottlenecks, UNODC has been working as a strategic partner to the Government of Balochistan to implement a comprehensive set of rule of law reforms. There are several initiatives aimed at strengthening the performance of the police across the chain of criminal justice institutions. Among these, a groundbreaking intervention jointly funded by the European Union is aimed at strengthening a Serious Crime Investigation Wing (SCIW) by the Balochistan Police. The SCIW is aimed to improve service delivery and ensure investigation of serious crimes based on modern investigative techniques and standards. It is conceived as a one-stop convergence platform that will strengthen, harmonize and bring the investigation services at par with global standards of policing. The wing will have five specialized units including homicide, gender based violence and child protection, organized dacoity and robbery, kidnapping for ransom and crime scene. 

The SCIW is designed to be equipped with the latest infrastructure, tools and facilities of criminal investigation and forensics. In addition SCIW will be provided technical support to design and deliver a standardized process of certification of specialized personnel through capacity building and training in specified fields of investigation. 

Continuing its efforts towards establishing the SCIW, the UNODC has concluded a first stream of specialized training delivered from 10-20 July 2023 in Police Lines, Quetta to a cohort of police investigation officers from Balochistan. The trainings have equipped the participants with skills and knowledge in how to investigate heinous crimes through application of latest techniques and procedures. These specialized trainings herald a new era for policing in Balochistan under the landmark initiative of the SCIW – which is a step forward towards strengthening the delivery of people-centered rule of law in Balochistan. 

During the closing ceremony, Mr. Abdul Khalique Shaikh, the Inspector General of Police Balochistan, presented certificates to the participants. The ceremony was also attended by other distinguished guests, including Mr. Jawad Dogar (PSP), Additional Inspector General, Mr. Kashif Alam (PSP), Additional Inspector General, and Mr. Ghulam Azfar Mahesar (PSP), Deputy Inspector General of Quetta.