Lahore: Crimes shoot up; police performance plummets
LAHORE: As the cases of killings, abductions, robberies and other heinous crimes are rapidly increasing in the largest Punjab province, the police performance is adversely declining.
What to say about the unregistered cases of crimes taking place in the society, where the law enforcement agency has publicly admitted its poor performance in dealing with cases of heinous crimes.
Believe it or not, according to the police record, more than 4,600 cases of robberies, 493 of dacoity and 377 cases of murder are untraceable in the Punjab province.
It indicates that the investigations into these cases have been shelved, once for all, and the cases would be traced only if a miracle would happen. According to police figures, at least 98,000 cases of crimes against property had been registered with the police in 2010 but these cases have swelled to above 102, 619 till Nov 2011.
Out of total 204 cases of kidnapping for ransom registered this year so far, at least 40 cases are still under investigations and three cases have been declared untraceable. Similarly, more than 1, 900 cases of robbery at gunpoint have been registered all over the province. The police have challaned only 8, 205 cases while 4, 606 are declared untraceable and the rest are under investigations.
The conviction rate has also put a big question mark on the working of the Investigation Wing of the law enforcement agency. According to police, at least 388, 257 cases of crimes of various natures have been registered this year so far while only 61, 710 accused have been convicted till November.
At least 50, 616 accused are acquitted from the courts, mainly due to poor police investigations. Last year, some 72, 298 accused had been convicted and the difference is 10, 588 in negative chart.
According to the police sources, some 100,000 accused declared as Proclaimed Offenders in different cases are still at large in the Punjab. More than 50,000 POs are wanted in various criminal cases only in Lahore.
Last week, Inspector General of Police Punjab Javed Iqbal presided over the Regional Police Officers conference here at the police headquarters.
CCPO Ahmad Raza Tahir, CPO Faisalabad Bilal Siddique Kamyana and RPO’s from Shiekhupura, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Multan, Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, and DG Khan attended the meeting and briefed the IGP about the crime situation in their respective areas of responsibility.
The police hierarchy decided in the conference that complete challans of all pending cases of terrorism, on priority basis, must be presented before the courts so that the culprits could be convicted.
Legal experts believe that most of the accused are acquitted from the courts due to poor investigations as the investigators fail to provide evidences against them due to one or another reason. However, police investigators say they are overburdened.
In a province, where more than 388,000 crimes cases have been registered so far this year, the law enforcement agency is relying on typical methods of investigations.
According to Prosecutor General Punjab Ashtar Ausaf, most of the police investigators fail to submit evidences against the accused particularly in robbery cases.
The police only rely on torture methods to force the accused to confess the crimes, no matter he did it or not. Meanwhile, Lahore police, last week, arrested a notorious smuggler and recovered 92 kg heroine from his possession during a successful operation, said to be the single largest in many decades in the City’s history.
DIG Operations Ghulam Mahmood Dogar supervised the late night raid. Lahore police in collaboration with Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) have launched ‘Drug Free City’ project to eradicate the menace of narcotics from the provincial metropolis.