LAHORE - The overall crime rate registered an upward trend during the first six months of this year as compared to the previous one.

The surge in violence was attributed to the rising incidents of crime against property including armed robberies, motor-vehicle lifting and cattle theft. The provincial police also reported a record number of cases related to murder, rape, and abduction during the first half of 2017.

All reported crime incidents are divided into two main categories - crime against person and crime against property. The part-I (crimes against person) includes eight categories - murder, attempted murder, hurt, kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, rape, gang rape and others. The part-II (crime against property) comprises of dacoity, robbery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, motor vehicle snatching, and cattle theft cases.

The Punjab police reported at least 203,199 cases of crime from January to June this year while last year the police had reported 201,839 cases of crime during the corresponding period. More than 33,600 cases are still under investigation and the police failed to trace criminals behind 4,467 cases.

The cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” also registered a reasonable increase during the first six months of 2017 as compared to the previous year. The Punjab police reported 77,053 cases in the category of local and special laws violations while in 2016 at least 75,819 cases had been registered under this head.

The police also reported at least 63,613 cases of crime under the head of Miscellaneous Laws against the last year’s 60,297 cases reported in the same category.

The conviction rate however improved comparatively. At least 45,616 persons were convicted during the first six months of this year while at least 36,807 persons had been convicted in various cases during the same period in 2016. Also, at least 40,856 persons were acquitted this year while last year at least 38,501 persons were acquitted in different cases.

According to latest police data, at least 38,629 cases were registered in the category of crime against property during the first six months of 2017 as compared to 40,533 such cases reported during the same period in 2016. Similarly, the police registered at least 23,904 cases in the category of crime against person as compared to 25,190 such cases reported during the first six months of 2016.

DACOITIES

The police reported at least 334 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) in the first six month of the current year against the last year’s 532 such cases.

ROBBERIES

The police data shows that at least 5,991 armed robberies were reported during the first six months of this year against 6885 such cases reported during the corresponding period in 2016.

BURGLARY

At least 5,231 cases of burglary were reported by the police this year against 5805 such cases registered during the same period last year.

THEFT

The provincial police registered 790 theft cases from January to June this year against 754 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.

According to police, as at least 2,470 cattle theft cases were registered during the first 6 months of this year in Punjab while last year the police had reported 2,844 cases during the same period.

MOTOR VEHICLE-SNATCHING

This year, the police reported at least 1,688 cases of motor vehicle snatching in the first six month while during the same period in 2016 the police had reported 1,882 cases. As far as the motor vehicle theft is concerned, the police reported 7,283 cases against the previous year’s 8,073 cases reported during the same period.

In Punjab, the 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”.

MURDER

The incidents of murder decreased slightly during the first six months of 2017 as compared to the previous year. At least 1,915 murder cases were reported from January to June this year in Punjab. Last year during the same period, at least 2,108 murder cases were reported with the provincial police. This year, the police also registered 2113 attempted murder cases against the previous year’s 2265 incidents.

Investigators are struggling to solve many blind murder cases. In the category of blind murders, most of the victims were women who were found brutally murdered in different parts of the province.

KIDNAPPINGS

The police during the first six months of this year reported at least 6,771 abduction cases while last year at least 6,849 cases had been 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 filed at least 22 cases of kidnapping for ransom in the first six months of the year. Last year, 17 cases had been registered with the police under the head of kidnapping for ransom.

RAPE/GANG RAPE

At least 1,374 rape cases were registered with the provincial police from January to June this year while during the matching period in 2016 the police had reported 1,516 rape cases. Similarly, some 89 cases of gang-rape are registered by police this year against 106 such cases reported during the first six months of 2016. At least, 13 gang rape cases are still under investigations.

SHOOTOUTS

At least 11 policemen lost their lives and 30 others wounded while fighting criminals from January to June this year. Last year, at least 17 police had died and 26 others were wounded while fighting back criminals in first six months.

On the other hand, the Punjab police killed more than 134 criminals during the first six months of this year as compared to 165 criminals killed in shootouts with police during the corresponding period last year.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 17-Jul-2017 here.