Justice: ‘Police-prosecution cooperation crucial for convictions’

Pakistan on 03 March 2014
Location : Islamabad | Source : Express Tribune. Image Source: Express Tribune

Women police and prosecutors have said that they will play their role in improving Pakistan’s criminal justice system after they learnt new investigating and analytical skills.

They were speaking at the conclusion of a five-day “Women Police and Prosecutor Conference”, organised by the US embassy.

Some 22 women police officers and women prosecutors from Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad participated in the conference, jointly conducted by officials from the US State Department, Justice Department, and local law enforcement agencies.

They were trained in crime scene development, forensic evidence collection and interview techniques.

One objective the conference achieved was bringing policewomen and women prosecutors together on the same table. The lack of coordination police-prosecutor, and sometimes their mutual connivance, is considered the main reason for low conviction rates in Pakistan.

The participants said that the skills they learnt will prove to be helpful when they return to the field.

The women police investigators did however indicate the difficulties in getting the prosecutors on board, especially when police have to reach the crime scene urgently. Female prosecutors, on the other hand, talked about police officers getting offended if the prosecutors try to help them.

Despite the differences, participants seemed to agree that cooperation between the police and the prosecution was necessary in bringing criminals to justice.

Policewomen from Quetta and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa also talked about difficulties in women policing due to societal attitudes and the shortage, or absolute nonexistence, of women police stations.

US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Thomas Williams said that some people might view law-enforcement and judicial sectors as inappropriate for women, but the participants of the conference were courageous.

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