LAHORE - The overall crime rate increased six per cent in the Punjab province in 2016 as compared to the previous year. The rising violence was driven by an increase in the cases of abductions, hurt, rape, and crime against women.

According to overall reported crimes, the police registered at least 374,546 crime cases in 2016 against 355,261 cases reported in 2015. More than 35,000 cases are still under investigation and the police have declared at least 16,000 cases as untraceable.

Although the incidents of murder, dacoity, robbery, burglary, and vehicle theft registered a slight decrease in 2016 from 2015, the police reported a record number of such cases in 2016.

The reported crime cases are divided into two categories. The provincial police in 2016 registered at least 47,028 cases under the head of crime against person while in 2015 the police had reported 46110 cases of crime against person.

The part-I crimes (crime against person) include eight categories - murder, attempted murder, hurt, kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, rape, gang rape and others.

Similarly, at least 73,607 cases were registered in the category of crime against property in 2016 from 78252 such cases reported in 2015. The part-II crimes (crime against property) include categories - dacoity, robbery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, motor vehicle snatching, cattle theft and others.

The conviction rate also dropped considerably in 2016 from 2015. According to police, at least 61,500 criminals were convicted and 60,145 were acquitted in 2016. During 2015, at least 63,730 criminals had been convicted and more than 60,000 were acquitted.

The cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” also registered a reasonable increase in 2016 as compared to the previous year. The Punjab police reported 116,347 cases in the category of local and special laws violations while in 2015 at least 96,170 cases had been registered under this head.

 

Shootout

At least 24 policemen lost their lives and 38 others wounded while fighting criminals in 2016. However, in 2015, at least eight police had died and 88 others were wounded while fighting criminals across the province. On the other hand, the police killed more than 320 criminals in 2016 while in 2015 at least 455 criminals were killed in shootouts with police in Punjab.

 

Murder

The incidents of murder decreased nine per cent in 2016 as compared to the previous year. At least 4481 murder cases were reported in 2015 while 4081 persons were murdered in different incidents in 2016. The provincial police are yet to trace more than 150 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.

The provincial police also reported at least 4253 cases of attempted murder in 2016 as compared to 4805 such cases reported in 2015. Moreover, the police reported 15,940 cases of hurt in 2016 against 14,673 registered in 2015.

 

Kidnapping

The police reported at least 12,526 cases of kidnapping in 2016 while last year at last 12,328 such cases had been registered with the provincial police. As per police record, the incidents of kidnapping for ransom dropped almost 59 per cent as police reported only 33 such cases in 2016. The police had reported at least 81 incidents of kidnapping for ransom in 2015.

An increase in abduction cases was seen in the Punjab province during 2016 when parents of runaway children filed a large number of complaints with the police and they got registered child abduction cases, a police spokesman claimed. According to him, the police took action to tackle the situation and more than 95 per cent of the missing children were recovered.

 

Rape/Gang rape

The province also witnessed a steep rise in rape cases in 2016. The surge in violence against women is quite common in this province where most of the female victims don’t report the crime to the police either because of their family background or due to influential perpetrators.

At least 2,781 rape cases were registered with the provincial police in 2016 while in 2015 the police had reported 2,555 such cases. Similarly, some 206 cases of gang rape were registered by police in 2016 against 211 such cases reported in 2015.

 

Dacoity

At least 871 cases of dacoity were registered in 2016 across the province against 1,419 such cases reported in 2015. Police are yet to trace more than 80 dacoity cases. However, some 150 cases of dacoity are still under investigation.

 

Robbery

The robbery cases dropped from 15,232 in 2015 to 12,518 in 2016. But the police are yet to trace more than 2000 robbery cases reported across the province in 2016. At least 3,000 robbery cases are still under investigation.

 

Burglary

The provincial police reported 10,644 cases of burglary in 2016 while at least 11,714 such cases had been reported in 2015. Over 2,500 cases are yet to be traced by the police and more than 3,400 are still under investigation.

 

Theft

The theft cases decreased from 1,560 in 2015 to 1,275 in 2016. Out of the total reported theft cases, at least 500 cases either are declared untraceable or investigations are still pending.

 

Motor Vehicle theft/snatching

The Punjab police reported at least 14,710 cases of motor Vehicle theft in 2016 while in 2015 at least 16,900 such cases had been reported. Similarly, the police reported 3,550 cases of motor vehicle snatching in 2016 against 4,550 such cases reported in 2015. The police, in 2016, declared at least 4,000 cases of auto-lifting and 500 cases of motor vehicle snatching as untraceable.

 

Cattle theft

Cattle theft cases reduced by eight per cent as at least 5,380 such cases were registered in 2015 and some 4,947 in 2016. The crime cases registered under Hudood Ordinance also decreased by one per cent as the police reported at least 47819 cases in 2015 and in 2016, the numbers of cases were 47,200.

In the category of miscellaneous, police registered at least 116,347 crime cases in 2016 while at least 96,177 such cases were reported in 2015.