Over 1,500 incidents of armed robberies, kidnappings for ransom, burglaries and theft cost city residents 434 cars and 321 motorcycles besides million of rupees in cash and kind in the first four months of the current year.
This year, incidents of murder, purse-snatching, theft of cars and motorcycles, cattle theft and other thefts witnessed a rise while recoveries remained very low.
Although police officers of the level of City Police Officer (CPO) and Regional Police Officer (RPO) had been deputed in Rawalpindi, no steps to reduce the crime rate and resolve the incidents have been visible.
A total of 5,687 cases were registered, compared to 5,532 last year. This year 102 people were murdered in different clashes compared to 78 last year. Attempted murder cases stood at 182, compared to 135 last year.
Overall, 202 cases of assault have been registered in the first four months, against 264 last year. Already five suspects have managed to escape from police custody compared to one last year. 159 incidents of kidnappings for ransom were reported this year against 161 last year.
Also, according to the data available with the police, twenty incidents of adultery/rape (zina) were reported this year against 15 last year. Incidents of gang rape decreased to one from four last year during the corresponding period.
Accidents also increased this year, with 43 fatal ones and 73 non-fatal accidents reported. Also, more cases of prostitution were reported, with 61, compared to 37 last year. Five incidents of murders during armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom were registered this year, one less than last year.
Armed robberies witnessed a remarkable increase, as 43 were registered compared to 16 last year. In the first four months this year, in 226 incidents of robbery, 32 cars and 14 motorcycles were stolen.
Under section 382 (robbery) 19 cases were reported compared to 75 last year. Burglaries are up, with 220 cases against 201 reported last year.
Car theft witnessed a slight decrease during the first four months this year compared to the corresponding period last year. This year 419 cars were stolen compared to 471 last year. But this year 307 motorcycles were stolen compared to 256 last year.
Cases of cattle theft also increased from 16 cases last year to 22 cases this year. Under Section 411 of police recoveries, only 128 cases were registered this year compared to 136 last year.
Due to the increasing crime rate in the city, not only the common man, but traders and political representatives were also worried. They held several meetings with City Police Officer Azhar Hameed Khokhar and other senior police officials asking them to take notice of the increasing crime rate in the city.
But the city crime rate concerns are still the same. In this regard, a traders’ leader Naveed Kanwal said that the law and order situation and street crime in the city was a headache for everyone and their businesses were badly affected by it.
He said that when people are reluctant to come out of their house during the day, shopping at night is a far cry. The police’s behaviour is considered so bad that many people have stopped contacting them with their complaints. He added that while cases were being registered, no follow up was being conducted. Until and unless, appointments in police are done on merit, there is no hope for improvement, he said.
Simlarly, MPA Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal, who is also political advisor to the chief minister of Punjab told The Express Tribune that a strategy to control street crime and bring down the increasing crime rate had been formalised in his meetings with the CPO and other police officers.
He said another meeting of police officers with political representatives was likely on the 22nd of this month, in which the rate of crime and police’s efficiency will be analyzed and if it will not be satisfactory, a report will be compiled and sent to the Punjab chief minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2011.