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Traffic wardens undergo psychotherapy in Lahore

LAHORE: In what appears to be first such attempt, the authorities organised on Thursday a psychotherapy session for 100 ‘aggressive’ traffic wardens performing duty in the provincial capital with a view to changing their behaviour towards citizens.

The activity was prompted by growing number of complaints against the ‘graduate’ traffic wardens for showing arrogance and resorting to misbehaviour and even scuffles with motorists, official sources said.

They added complaints were being received on a daily basis where citizens, particularly motorcyclists, were the victims of rude behaviour of wardens over petty issues.

In the first phase, the department shortlisted 100 wardens, including a woman, out of total 2,900 and told them to attend the session conducted by behaviour analysts and experts, Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) retired Capt Ahmad Mobin told Dawn.

He said a majority of the wardens were selected for the session on the basis of their ‘service record’, including show-cause notices and complaints filed against them. More such sessions were being planned for other shortlisted for the purpose, he added.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) retired Capt Amin Wains and a senior psychiatrist from College of Home Economics Lahore, Prof Farah Yaqoob, were specially invited to deliver lecture to the wardens attending the session.

The CCPO in his address to the wardens said they had been vested with powers to deal with the ‘offenders’ and in case of any untoward incident they should report the matter to the local police instead of taking law in their own hands.

He said the growing complaints of wardens’ misbehaviour with the citizens were bringing a bad name to the disciplined force. He said the wardens were the face of Lahore police on the roads.

Mr Wains suggested that the slogan of ‘Pehly Salam Phir Kalam’ (greeting before treating) was the best way to win over the public.

“If a citizen shouts at a warden, even then he (warden) should treat him politely”, the CCPO said, hoping such sessions would continue in the future as well.

Prof Farrah said their constant presence on the noisy roads might leave drastic impact on behaviour of traffic wardens. She defined noise as “an unwanted sound having different frequencies and acoustic pressure without any regular pattern”.

Mr Mobin said creating awareness about traffic rules among the citizens was also a responsibility of wardens, besides ensuring smooth flow of traffic on the city roads.

courtesy : dawn news

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