City reels under 30% surge in crime rate

Over last one year, three Operations DIGs, four SSPs have been changed in provincial capital

Nouman Sheikh October 24, 2019

LAHORE: Crimes such as robbery, murder and assault have been thriving in Lahore for quite some time. However, the recent spike in the number of crimes raised many questions on the performance and the capability of the police force.

The police records showed the crime rate in the provincial capital has increased by 30% as compared to the last year. On the other hand, none of the high ranking officers could play any significant role to curb crimes.

Over the last one year, three officers of DIG operations rank and four SSPs have been changed.

Police data also revealed that a total of 94,293 cases of various crimes have been registered in the first 10 months of the current year. Last year, a total of 69,476 cases were registered in police stations.

As many 32 cases of house gang robberies were reported in 2018 and, so far, 42 cases have been registered this year. There were 2,485 robbery cases last year while this year, they have surged to 2,977. There have been a total of 1,057 street crime incidents so far this year compared to just 745 street crimes last year.

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Last year, cars and motorcycles of 357 citizens were snatched. The number is 337 this year so far.

A total of 13 people were murdered during robberies last year while eight people were murdered this year.

A total of 10 kidnappings for ransom incidents were reported last year while 12 people have been murdered this year. As many as 2,790 cases of missing children were reported last year while 2,948 such cases have been registered this year. The police claimed to have recovered and reunited 85% of the victims with their families.

Around 522 attempts to murder cases over enmity and fights were reported last year in which 809 victims were injured. On the other hand, 521 such incidents have been reported so far in the first 10 months of the current year with 789 people injured in assaults. A total of 359 people were murdered in separate incidents in 2018 while, this year, the figure stands at 329.

As many as 89 rape cases were registered last year including eight incidents of gang rape. The number of rape cases has surged to 338 this year with five incidents of gang rape.

Cases of livestock theft stood at 253 last year while this year it is 495.

A police officer, on the questioned about a surge in the crime rate, said a case was registered on a complaint received, which is basically free registration, but the reality is contrary to it. “Reforms are underway in the police department,” he said.

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DIG Operations Rana Shehzad Akbar and SSP Asad Sarfaraz were replaced in 2018, and Waqas Nazeer undertook charge as DIG operations. Similarly, Mustansar Feroz joined as SSP Operations of Lahore police. SSP Operations Mustansar Feroz demolished the police check posts and decided to build new ones. In order to gauge the performance of all the appointed SHOs, he introduced a method to score them in accordance with their performances.

Based on points, the monthly performances of the SHOs were to be reviewed. World Crime Index report was also issued during the time, in which the crime rate from across the globe turned out lower and the provincial capital also earned the status of a safe city.

However, just six months later, DIG Operations Waqas Nazeer and SSP operations were replaced by DIG Operations Ashfaq Khan and SSP Operations Ismail Kharak.

The new police leadership, soon after assuming the charge of Lahore faced a suicide attack outside Data Darbar in which the police force was targeted.

The new police leadership undertook duties for law and order situation during Ramazan, Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha and Muharram.

After the success of these security plans, it was important to control crime in the big city. SSP operations collected data of areas where the crime rates were high. The police, in accordance with the timing of the crimes, sieged the areas. On the directives of DIG operations, the police recorded the data of 84,000 factory employees.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2019.


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