Strengthening criminal investigations

Project description

Title: Support for capacity development in the criminal investigative services in Pakistan II (CIS II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Pakistan
Lead executing agency: Pakistan National Police Bureau
Overall term: 2017 to 2019

Inauguration of a mock crime scene, Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA), Lahore, December 2015.  Copyright GIZ


For many years, Pakistan has faced instability and substantial challenges to the rule of law. Citizens have little confidence in the apparatus of the state, and particularly in the criminal justice system. Crime rates are high, but only a small proportion of cases are solved and there are relatively few convictions. The system and its institutions – the police, the public prosecutor’s office and the judiciary – are largely inefficient, outdated, subject to political influence and fragmented. However, they are also under considerable pressure to produce results.

The police, public prosecutor’s office and judiciary not only lack state-of-the-art training and technology but also an understanding of the nature of criminal investigations under the rule of law. The inadequate capacity of the actors is compounded by insufficient interaction and coordination within criminal investigative procedures.


The criminal investigative services are strengthened in Punjab and Sindh provinces, enabling them to carry out their roles cooperatively and appropriately within the scope of their responsibilities. This helps them to improve the performance of the criminal justice system and of the rule of law in Pakistan, thereby promoting stability and peaceful development in the country in the long term.

Inauguration of a women’s hostel, Saeedabad police academy, February 2016.  Copyright GIZ


The current project builds on the work of its predecessor and pursues the same approach. The criminal investigations system continues to be the focus of attention. Organisational and human resources development, reform processes, standardisation, institutionalisation and digitalisation serve to enhance institutional capacity and strengthen cooperation between the various services with a view to improving investigations both within and between the provinces. The project works in Punjab and Sindh provinces, while taking due account of the situation at national level. There are three main fields of action:

  1. Improving initial and continuing training to strengthen criminal investigative capacity
    The project supports police academies in professionalising and streamlining their work. Training courses are being standardised and translated into curricula, and instructors are receiving training. The project focuses on setting up Schools of Investigation in the two provinces; these will offer a standardised, professional course in criminal investigation. There are plans for cooperation with universities and German police academies.
  2. Using professional methods of investigation
    Building on improvements in the initial and continuing training of investigators, theory is being translated into practice. The project is advising newly created specialist units, including for murder investigations. Cooperation between those involved and a shared understanding of responsibilities and standards are the priority here, along with appropriate conduct vis-à-vis the people. The project is organising joint training courses, workshops and conferences on methods and techniques in investigation procedures.
  3. Strengthening mechanisms within the criminal justice system to ensure appropriate handling of vulnerable groups, particularly women and young people
    Women and young people are at particular risk within the criminal justice system, whether they are perpetrators, victims or witnesses. The project therefore promotes the creation and strengthening of special support structures, such as separate contact points for women and young people at police stations. It is raising awareness within the investigating authorities of the special needs of these groups. To this end, it is also collaborating with non-governmental organisations that work to promote access to justice.

Results achieved by the predecessor project (2015 to 2016) included:

  • For training purposes, five mock crime scenes were set up in Punjab and Sindh provinces. These have so far been used to train 49 police trainers using specially developed modules on investigative procedures.
  • 13 modules covering interviewing techniques for criminal investigations were developed and 52 trainers were trained in interrogation methods that are in keeping with the rule of law.
  • To foster exchange about challenges and coping strategies in investigation work, a national conference was organised, attracting more than 80 participants from across Pakistan and from international organisations.
  • A seminar on best practices in criminal investigation brought together experts from Pakistan and other countries including Germany, Japan, Turkey and the United Kingdom, and over 40 participants from across Pakistan.
  • Automated case management software was introduced in the public prosecutor’s office in Punjab province and has been used successfully since then.
Seminar on international best practices in criminal investigation in Pakistan, Islamabad, November 2015.  Copyright GIZ