The police have been instructed, amongst other things, to enforce a complete ban on public gatherings. Those found in violation may face fines or even jail. There is a risk that these rules will be enforced unequally, as a result of social stratification, leading to an over-policing of the less privileged, and an under-policing of the affluent.
Is policing a crisis going to create a crisis in policing? What are the challenges confronting local police in countries like Pakistan as Covid-19 spreads, impacting public order and public safety? What does ‘social distancing’ even mean in the context of law enforcement?
For station-level officers, a lack of provisions and poor salaries means that most commute in crowded public transport, where they are exposed and vulnerable. Extra policemen deployed at stations from training centres are accommodated in barracks inside these stations, where up to 20 constables are squeezed in to sleep in confined spaces. While senior officers use official vehicles in isolation, multiple station-level officials and employees use police mobiles, often for transporting criminals and suspects. The utility of hand sanitisers becomes futile
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