In Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, they thought of modernizing the police. In fact, to curb theft and harassment in the streets, the police have deployed a unit armed with rollerblades. "We felt the need to find an innovative approach to control street crime," said Farrukh Ali, head of the unit.
However, it is not wrong to think that rollerblading police officers could more easily chase motorcycle thieves, and faster. Ali admitted that it could not be deployed in many parts of Karachi, given the poor condition of many roads. In fact, the idea was to send them to places with a higher incidence of thefts and muggings. This system would allow faster and less risky pursuits, avoiding traffic jams and taking advantage of the narrow alleys.
A matter of training
The 20-member unit, which is part of the Special Security Unit (SSU), includes 10 men and 10 women who will patrol the alleys and streets of the city of 20 million inhabitants. Everyone undergoes rigorous training: they skate in circles with their weapons pointed inwards, raise and lower their guns in unison. However, safety concerns were raised when initial footage of police rollerblading training showed officers carrying heavy weapons.
The police chief, however, clarified and reassured by saying that the unit will only carry guns, thus reducing the risk of crazy bullets or misses. The first patrolled place? The lively seafront of Karachi. Seeing the police in rollerblading was quite fun and singular to see, but the inhabitants of the area have no doubts: "Seeing them here in clean uniforms in the morning gives us a sense of security, because muggings occur even during the day.