LAHORE - The Punjab province witnessed a record increase in incidents of “crime against person” during the first 10 months of this year as compared to the last year.

The surge in violence was attributed to the sudden rise in incidents of abduction, kidnapping for ransom, rape and attempted murder. Similarly, in the category of crime against property, the police registered an increase in incidents of burglary, theft, vehicle theft and robberies.

The provincial police registered at least 341,829 crime cases from January to October this year, while last year the police had reported at least 343,859 cases during the corresponding period. The official record reveals that the police investigators failed to trace at least 13,292 crime cases reported across the province during this year. More than 36,800 cases are still under investigation.

According to latest police data, at least 42,148 cases were registered under the head of crime against person during the first 10 months of 2017 as compared to 43,452 such cases reported during the same period in 2016. Similarly, the police this year registered at least 66,938 cases in the category of crime against property as compared to 67,281 such cases reported during the same period last year.

MURDER: The incidents of murder decreased slightly during the 10 months of 2017 as compared to the previous year. At least 3,437 murder cases were reported from January to October this year in Punjab. Last year, during the same period, at least 3,568 murder cases were reported with the provincial police. This year, the police also registered 3,774 attempted murder cases against the previous year’s 3,914 incidents.

Police investigators were unable to solve many blind murder cases. In the category of blind murder, most of the victims were women who were found brutally murdered in different parts of the province.

KIDNAPPINGS: The police during the first ten months of this year reported at least 11,730 abduction cases, while last year at least 11,618 cases were reported by the police. Most of the victims were said to be women and young girls who were abducted by gunmen. Also, the Punjab police registered at least 35 cases of kidnapping for ransom in the first ten months of the year. Last year, at least 31 such cases were registered with the police under the head of kidnapping for ransom.

RAPE/GANG RAPE: At least 2,608 rape cases were registered with the provincial police from January to October this year, while during the matching period in 2016 the police had reported 2,585 rape cases. Similarly, 159 cases of gang rape have been registered by police this year against 192 such cases reported during the first 10 months of 2016.

DACOITIES: The police reported at least 569 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) in the first 10 months of the current year against last year’s 801 cases.

ROBBERIES: The new police data shows that at least 10,359 armed robberies were reported during the first ten months of this year against 11,412 such cases reported during the corresponding period in 2016.

BURGLARY: At least 9,223 cases of burglary were reported by the police this year against 9,867 such cases registered during the same period last year.

THEFT: The provincial police registered 1,286 theft cases from January to October this year against 1,181 theft cases reported during the corresponding period in 2016. The police also claimed a considerable decrease in cattle theft cases this year as compared to the previous year. According to police, at least 4,248 cattle theft cases were registered during the first ten months of this year in Punjab, while last year the police had reported 4,603 cases during the same period.

MOTOR VEHICLE SNATCHING: This year, the police reported at least 2,909 cases of motor vehicle snatching in the first ten months, while during the same period in 2016 the police had reported 3,218 cases. As far as the motor-vehicle theft is concerned, the police reported 13,145 cases against the previous year’s 13,343 cases during the same period. In Punjab, auto-lifting has become a booming business. More than 20,000 citizens are deprived of their vehicles every year. Less than 10 per cent of the total snatched or stolen vehicles are recovered by police annually, and thousands of auto-lifting cases are declared by police as “untraceable”.

SHOOTOUTS: The Punjab police killed more than 226 alleged criminals during ‘armed encounters’ in the first 10 months of this year as compared to 292 criminals killed in shootouts with police during the corresponding period last year.

Also, at least 16 policemen lost their lives and 54 others were wounded while fighting criminals from January to October this year. Last year, at least 23 police had died and 37 others were wounded while fighting back criminals in first 10 months.

Meanwhile, the Punjab police reported an overall 341,829 cases of crime from January to October this year while last year the police had reported 343,859 cases of crime during the corresponding period.

The cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” also registered a slight decrease during the first 10 months of 2017 as compared to the previous year.  The Punjab police reported 123,732 cases in the category of local and special law violations while in 2016 at least 126,198 cases had been registered under this head. The police also reported at least 123,732 cases of crime under the head of Miscellaneous Laws against the last year’s 126,198 cases reported in the same category.

The conviction and acquittal rate however improved comparatively. At least 71,760 persons were convicted during the first ten months of this year while at least 54,724 persons were convicted in various cases during the same period in 2016. Also, at least 58,851 persons were acquitted this year while last year at least 53,560 persons were acquitted in different cases.