LAHORE - The latest police data has revealed that murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery, and motor-vehicle-theft cases are on the rise in the Punjab province.

Although the overall crime rate registered a slight decrease yet some crimes are on the ascendancy in the largest province of the country.

The recent surge in crime is being attributed to rising incidents of murder, attempted murder, kidnappings, rape, gang-rape, and robberies. The cases of domestic burglary, motor-vehicle theft, and cattle theft have swelled significantly.

According to police figures, at least 45,816 cases were registered in the category of crime against property during the first seven months of 2018 as compared to 45,724 such cases reported during the same period in 2017. Similarly, the police registered at least 29,767 cases in the category of crime against person this year as compared to 28,969 such cases reported during the same period last year.

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 223, 581cases of crime from January to July this year while last year the police had reported 240,092 cases of crime during the corresponding period. More than 35,000 cases are still under investigation and the police have failed to trace criminals behind 6,709 cases.

However, the cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” dropped slightly during the first seven months of 2018 as compared to the previous year. The Punjab police reported 73,861 cases in the category of local and special laws violations this year while last year least 89,920 cases were reported by police under this head.

Police during the first seven months of this year also reported at least 74,137 cases of crime under the head of “Miscellaneous Laws” against the last year’s 75,479 cases reported in the same category.

The conviction rate however improved comparatively. At least 60,812 persons were convicted during the first seven months of this year while at least 64,486 persons had been convicted in various cases during the same period in 2017. Also, at least 46,205 persons were acquitted this year while last year at least 49,616 persons were acquitted in different cases during the corresponding period.

MURDER: The incidents of murder registered an increase during the first seven months of 2018 as compared to the previous year. At least 2,355 people were murdered across the province during the previous seven months of this year. However, the police had reported at least 2319 murder cases during the corresponding period in 2017.

The police have declared at least 27 murder cases as untraceable while 703 cases are still under investigation. 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.

ATTEMPTED MURDER: The province also witnessed a sizeable surge in the incidents of attempted murder registered during the first seven months of this year if compared to the corresponding period of 2017. The provincial police registered 3,024 attempted murder cases against 2,533 such incidents.

HURT: The police, during the first seven months of this year, reported at least 8,803 “Hurt” cases in the category of crime against person. However, the provincial police had reported 9,644 such cases during the first seven months of 2017.

KIDNAPPING: The provincial police registered at least 8,945 abduction cases during the first seven months of 2018 as compared to 8,209 kidnapping incidents reported during the corresponding period of 2017. Most of the victims were said to be women and young girls who were abducted by gunmen. At least 25 cases of kidnapping for ransom were also registered with the police during the first seven months of this year. Last year, the police had reported at least 24 cases of kidnapping for ransom.

RAPE/GANG-RAPE: At least 1,859 rape cases were registered with the provincial police during the first seven months of this year while during the matching period of 2017 the police had reported 1,699 rape cases. Similarly, at least 118 cases of gang-rape were reported by police during the first seven months of this year against 105 gang rape incidents registered with the police during the same period last year. The police also reported at least 4,638 cases under the head of “Others” in the category of crime against person.

DACOITIES: The police, during the first seven months of this year reported at least 388 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) against 393 such cases registered with the provincial police during the same period in 2017. At least 111 dacoity cases are still under investigation while police have declared at least 19 dacoity cases as untraceable.

ROBBERIES: The new police data shows that at least 6,966 armed robberies were reported during the first seven months of this year against 7,066 such cases reported during the corresponding period of 2017. Similarly, at least 6,235 cases of burglary were reported by the police during the first seven months of 2018 against 6,250 such cases registered with the police during the same period in 2017.

THEFT: During the first six months of this year the provincial police registered 774 theft cases against 929 theft cases reported during the corresponding period of 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 2,938 cattle theft cases were registered with the police during the first seven months of 2018 while the police had reported 2,872 such cases during the same period in 2017.

MOTOR VEHICLE SNATCHING: The police during the first seven months of 2018 reported at least 1,863 cases of motor-vehicle-snatching while during the same period in 2017 the police had reported 2,000 such cases. As far as the motor-vehicle theft is concerned, the police this year reported at least 9,503 cases against 8,752 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.”