Training on Investigation of Proclaimed Offenders under Legal Proceedings and Court Trials

12 - 20 December 2019, Hangu. The role of the Police is deemed extremely significant in recognizing, leading, and concluding a terrorism case; hence, it is important to focus on proclaimed offenders through procedures appropriate in the eyes of the law. For this purpose, under the PACT project, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the European Union (EU), organized a training session on 'Investigation of Proclaimed Offenders' on 12- 20 December 2019, at Police Training College Hangu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). A total of 30 participants from the KP Police attended the training session. 

The primary objective of this training session was to define when a person could be declared a proclaimed offender, and to detail the procedures to be followed afterwards.

To form the baseline, the sessions designed on the first day of the training focussed on the main definitions, clauses, and legal aspects of key terminologies relating to proclaimed offenders and absconders. The trainers also discussed the circumstances and instances under which an accused can be declared an absconder, and the procedures for declaring a person a 'Proclaimed Offender', along with preparing paperwork pertinent to 'Proclaimed Offenders'.  Subsequently sessions were conducted on 'Harbouring a Proclaimed Offender' and the 'Significance of Maintaining Records of absconders and proclaimed offenders'.

Throughout the training several significant sub-topics were discussed. Trainers outlined the step-by-step procedures for developing history sheets and index cards, and for the arrest of proclaimed offenders. They deliberated on the most modern techniques to trace and arrest proclaimed offenders, and concluded with an assessment to evaluate the knowledge gained by the participants. A special presentation on the Proclaimed Offenders module took place, followed by a lecture on 'Kidnapping for Ransom and Terrorism Cases'. This was considered a major component of the module, as the relationship between proclaimed offenders and terrorism is a growing concern, and is threatening national and regional peace.

During the training three case studies were analyzed, in which the trainers shared real life examples from legal court proceedings relating to terrorism and proclaimed offenders. Trainers delineated the arrest guidelines, reporting requirements, and modus operandi envisioned for arrests; as well as briefly discussing Geo-Fencing and Call Data Records (CDRs) for the purposes of location and arrest of Proclaimed Offenders.

A special feature of the training was a two-day mock trial, held along with a post-training knowledge test for the participants, at the conclusion of the training. During the mock trial the participants were given a scenario to brainstorm, along with a court trial exercise. They were divided into groups to deliberate on the given situation and devise a suitable conclusion under the given circumstances.

Participants were given feedback on their performance throughout the training. They acknowledged the efforts of UNODC and the EU, and thanked both for organizing a thorough and elaborate session for their capacity building and reinforcement through an inculcative teaching methodology. On conclusion of this exercise, a closing ceremony was held and group photos taken.