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

The latest police data shows significant rise in the incidents of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, rape, gang-rape, and others.

This year, the province recorded high crime rate in the months of January and February if compared to the corresponding period of 2017. The incidents of motorcar-vehicle theft, cattle theft, and robberies also multiplied during the last two months.

As per police data, at least 66,613 crime cases were reported by police across the province in January and February against the last year’s 65,549 such cases. The incidents of “crime against property” swelled significantly with a total of 6,980 cases reported across the province in two months of this year while at least 6,474 such cases had been reported by police during the same period in 2017.

In all Punjab districts, gangsters robbed residences, shops, factories, looted families, motorists and even passersby and made off with cars, cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables worth billions of rupees.

Murder: The incidents of murder registered a slight decrease in February 2018 as compared to the previous year. At least 525 people were murdered across the province in the previous two months of this year. However, the police had reported at least 540 murder cases during the corresponding period in 2017. Last year, the provincial police had declared at least 177 murder cases as untraceable.

Attempted Murder: During the month of January and February, the police also registered 694 attempted murder cases against 587 such incidents registered with the Punjab police in 2017. Last year, police investigators were unable to solve many blind murder cases. In these blind murder cases, several victims were women and children who were found brutally murdered in different parts of the province.

Hurt: The Punjab police, during the first two months of this year reported at least 1803 “Hurt” cases in the category of crime against person. However, the provincial police had reported 184 such cases during the first two months of 2017.

Kidnapping: The provincial police registered at least 2,280 abduction cases during the first two months of 2018 as compared to 1,986 kidnapping incidents reported during the first two months of 2017. Most of the victims were said to be women and young girls who were abducted by gunmen. At least two cases of kidnapping for ransom were also registered with the police during the first two months.

Rape/Gang-rape: At least 427 rape cases were registered with the provincial police in January and February while during the matching period in 2017 the police had reported 402 rape cases. Similarly, at least 28 cases of gang-rape were reported by police in the first two months of this year against 23 gang rape incidents registered with the police during the first two months of the last year. The police also reported at least 1221 cases under the head of “Others” in the category of crime against person.

Dacoities: The police, during the first two months of this year reported at least 122 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) against 130 such cases registered with the provincial police during the same period in 2017. Last year, the police failed to trace at least 46 cases of dacoities.

Robberies: The new police data shows that at least 1,767 armed robberies were reported during the first two months of this year against 2,014 such cases reported during the corresponding period in 2017. Similarly, at least 1,865 cases of burglary were reported by the police in the first two months of 2018 against 1,949 such cases registered with the police during the same period in 2017.

Theft: During the first two months of this year, the provincial police registered 182 theft cases against 236 theft cases reported during the corresponding period in 2017. The police data revealed a considerable increase in cattle-theft cases this year as compared to the previous year. According to police, at least 888 cattle theft cases were registered with the police in the first two months of 2018 while the police had reported 871 such cases during the same period in 2017.

Motor Vehicle Snatching: During the first two months of this year, the provincial police reported at least 440 cases of motor vehicle snatching, while during the same period in 2017 the police had reported 548 such cases. As far as the motor-vehicle theft is concerned, the police this year reported at least 2,425 cases against 2,464 such incidents reported during the same period in 2017. In the Punjab province, 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 provincial police killed at least 19 alleged criminals in ‘armed encounters’ which took place in different parts of the province during the first two months of this year as compared to 59 criminals killed in shootouts with police during the corresponding period in 2017.Also, at least three policemen lost their lives and three others were wounded while fighting criminals during the first two months of 2018.

Meanwhile, the cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” also registered a slight decrease in January 2018 as compared to the matching period of 2017.

During the first two months of this year, the police reported 24,401 cases in the category of local and special law violations while during the same period in 2017 at least 26,712 such cases had been registered with the police under this head. The police also reported at least 22,490 cases of crime under the head of Miscellaneous Laws against 19,477 cases reported in this category in the first two months of 2017.

The conviction and acquittal rate however improved comparatively. At least 20,327 persons were convicted during the first two months of 2018 while at least 15,485 persons were convicted in various cases during the same period in 2017. Also, at least 15,260 persons were acquitted in the first two months of this year while at least 14,268 persons had been acquitted in different cases during the same period in 2017.