Lahore: 2011 saw upsurge in crime
LAHORE: The dream of the Punjab chief minister to protect the life and property of citizens could not be materialized even in year 2011, which saw constant surge in crime against property and persons in the provincial metropolis.
An upward trend was observed in the incidents of robberies including house and bank robberies, street crime, dacoity-cum-murders, kidnap for ransom, aerial firing and kite flying. In fact, violent crime was reported throughout the year.
The current command of Lahore Police working for the last eight months badly failed to control crimes due to the reasons best known to them. Punjab Inspector General of Police Javed Iqbal and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also expressed their dissatisfaction over the performance of the police many times during official meetings but no change could be observed till the last day of 2011. New commanders keep themselves busy in making their own team of blue-eyed officers, instead of devising strategies to fight crime.
Around 40 dacoity-cum-murders, 31 kidnappings for ransom, including two high profile personalities, 12 bank robberies, over 600 incidents of robberies and around 600 murders are a credit of Lahore Police in 2011. Around eight accused were also encountered while a number of innocent citizens lost their lives at the hands of kidnappers.
A number of innocent citizens, including the son of a police constable, also fell victim to the police torture and lost his life at the hands of Lower Mall police on the First of May, 2011. Former SSP Operations Shaukat Abbas also lost his post in a police torture case.
Moreover, the police commanders could not improve the bad image of the department among the masses, who, suspecting that the police patronized criminals/land mafia, took the life of an SHO on the last day of 2011. This incident is an eye-opener for the authorities concerned; it shows how people have become impatient with the rude behavior of police. If no concrete steps are taken, such incidents could further dent the peace of 2012.
Three Lahorites were also killed by an American, Raymond Davis, in the broad daylight on the major artery of the City during the first month of the last year. According to the official statistics of Lahore Police also available with The News , crime against property saw around 15.51 percent increase as compared to previous year i.e. 2010. In the year 2010, around 193 incidents of dacoity were reported while this figure rose to 257 in 2011, with an increase of 33 percent.
In 2010, around 398 incidents of house robbery were reported while, in 2011, robbers committed 471 successful robberies with an 18.34 percent increase. Around 4926 incidents of street crime were reported in 2010 whereas the year 2011 saw the figure rise to 5427, with a 10 percent increase.
Robbers killed around 40 innocent citizens and left hundreds of others injured on resistance in 2011 with a slight decrease as in 2010 around 43 citizens were murdered in robbery bids. Fifty percent increase was reported in the incidents of bank robberies as, in 2010, around eight bank robberies were reported while, in 2011, around 12 incidents were reported. The upward trend in the incidents of car- and bike–snatching was also observed during the year 2011, with 8.28 percent and 10.52 percent increase, respectively. In 2011, around 183 cars were snatched while, in 2010, around 169 cars were snatched. In 2011, around 231 bikes were snatched while, in 2010, people of deprived of 209 bikes.
Bike-lifters remained also active in 2011 as they lifted 3,612 bikes in 2011, with an increase of 24.76 percent as compared to 2010, with 2,895 reported incidents.
Incidents of car theft also increased in 2011 by 12.83 percent. About 1,254 cars were lifted in 2010 while around 1415 cars were lifted in 2011. Thieves also stole around 195 bicycles in 2011 while, in 2010, around 183 bicycles were lifted.
Under the head of miscellaneous vehicles theft, around 16.29 percent increase was observed during the current year as compared to the last year. Around 792 vehicles of different kinds were lifted in 2011 while, in 2010, around 681 vehicles were lifted.
Around 1871 incidents of burglary were reported in 2010 while such incidents increased in 2010, and around 2,131 incidents were reported with a 13.89 percent raise.
The incidents of theft also increased by 12.36 percent in 2011, with 2226 reported incidents as, in 2010, around 1981 incidents of theft were reported.
Under the head of miscellaneous thefts, around 891 incidents were reported in 2011 while around 672 such incidents were reported in 2010.
The incidents of cattle theft also increased in 2011 as, in 2010. Around 79 such incidents were reported while in 2011 around 94 incidents were reported with an 18.98 percent increase.
Moreover, the ratio of crime against persons also increased in the provincial metropolis due to free availability of illegal weapons. In 2010, overall around 5,450 incidents of crime against person were reported but this figure rose to 6,257 in 2011, with 14.80 percent increase.
Around 1,861 incidents of attempt to murder were reported in 2011, with a 14.66 percent increase while, in 2010, around 1623 such incidents were reported.
Around 2,954 incidents of kidnapping were reported in 2011 while, in 2010, around 2831 incidents were reported. Thus, 4.34 percent increase was witnessed in the incidents of kidnappings.
Around 32 incidents of kidnapping for ransom were reported in 2011 while the figure was 31 in 2010. Two high profile personalities Dr Warren Weinstein, an American national and Shahbaz Taseer, the son of slain governor Salman Taseer were also kidnapped. Police have yet to recover the abducted.
In 2010, around 542 murders were reported while, in 2011, around 598 murders were reported – with 10. 33 percent increase.
The incidents of forced–rape increased by 21.96 per cent in 2011; kite flying by 53. 88 per cent; one-wheeling by 43.36 per cent; and aerial firing increased by 37. 74 per cent.
Divisional SPs, both of operations and investigations wings, had to be vigilant on the performance of their respective SDPOs, SHOs and incharge investigations, instead of enjoying perks at their air-conditioned offices. Lahore Police also had to take stern action against history-sheeters to eliminate crimes from the provincial metropolis.
Interestingly, a divisional Sp directed investigation officers (IOs) in a crime-review meeting to arrest at least POs of minor crimes to show their performance. He confessed that police were unable to arrest real POs.
The new year could surely become a year of peace and security for the Lahorites if Lahore Police mend its ways, otherwise, top brass of Punjab Police and the Punjab government should take timely decision to save precious lives and properties of citizens.