Police to prepare plan for media houses

KARACHI: In the wake of growing attacks on media houses, Sindh police authorities have decided to prepare a comprehensive security plan to protect the organisations.

The decision to formulate a ‘standard operating procedure’ (measures to be taken) was taken at a meeting presided over by Additional Inspector General of Karachi Police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar and attended by representatives of media houses at the Karachi Police Office, according to a police spokesperson.

The AIG directed SSPs and SPs concerned to visit media houses, assess security concerns and report to him about shortcomings.

SSP Security-II Imran Riaz briefed the participants on matters related to security of the institutions.

The meeting decided that divisional SSPs would meet security officers of media houses to assess issues faced by them and consequently comprehensive plans would be issued by the offices of divisional SPs.

The representatives were informed that outer perimeter walls of buildings of all media houses should be at least eight-foot high with two-foot diameter barbed wires. There should be minimum numbers of entry gates and an exist gate in all buildings. Walk-through gates must be at entrances and metal detectors should be used for physical search of visitors.

It was stated that all media houses should maintain computerised records along with numbers of national identity cards of visitors and all vehicles entering their premises must be scanned with bottom-view mirror.

CCTV cameras must be installed at important points covering entrances, adjoining areas and access roads and the cameras must have a storage capacity of at least 15 days of data. The camera system must be backed up by UPS and generators.

Administrations of all media houses should have complete bio-data of all private security guards and details of arms and ammunition held by them. The guards should be vetted by the Special Branch and Intelligence Bureau.

Media houses have been asked to hire private security guards only from registered companies.

It was suggested that there should be at least one armed guard in all vans/buses/DSNG vans of media houses. These vehicles should have cameras at the four corners and one dome camera at the top-centre of DSNGs. The windowpanes of vans/DSNGs must be bullet-proof.

It was proposed that the staff of media houses must get clearance from the Special Branch and Intelligence Bureau.

“Entrances of all media houses should have zigzag concrete barriers as well as jersey barriers along with the walls.”

There should be bunkers outside the buildings of media houses at vantage points and important telephone numbers must be displayed at important places.

It was also proposed that car parkings must be at a safe distance from the main building.

The meeting was of the view that there should be no encroachments and hawkers outside the premises of media houses.

The SHOs concerned have been directed to place a checking register inside the buildings of media houses and the checking officer should point out any lacuna. “The officer will try his level best to remove all shortcomings after discussion with the administration of the media house.”