LAHORE - Crime in Punjab is on the rise. According to police figures, homicide cases have spiked simultaneously in big cities and small towns.

The surge in violence is attributed to rising incidents of gun crime including murder, attempted murder, kidnappings, rape, gang-rape, and robberies. The incidents of domestic burglary, motor-vehicle theft, and cattle theft are also on the rise across the province.

The latest police figures show the violent crime has gone up even more steeply as police reported a record number of cases related to crime against person and property.

According to police, at least 39,600 cases were registered in the category of crime against property during the first six months of 2018 as compared to 38,629 such cases reported during the same period in 2017. Similarly, the police registered at least 25,714 cases in the category of crime against person as compared to 32,904 such cases reported during the first six months 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 196,762 cases of crime from January to June this year while last year the police had reported 203,199 cases of crime during the corresponding period. More than 34,000 cases are still under investigation and the police have failed to trace criminals behind 4,180 cases.

However, the cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” dropped slightly during the first six months of 2018 as compared to the previous year. The Punjab police reported 65,746 cases in the category of local and special laws violations this year while at least 77,053 cases were reported under this head in 2017.

Police also reported at least 65,702 cases of crime under the head of Miscellaneous Laws against the last year’s 63,613 cases reported in the same category. The conviction rate however improved comparatively. At least 56, 404 persons were convicted during the first six months of this year while at least 436,617 persons had been convicted in various cases during the same period in 2016. Also, at least 40,942 persons were acquitted this year while last year at least 40,856 persons were acquitted in different cases.

MURDER: The incidents of murder registered a considerable increase during the first six months of 2018 as compared to the previous year. At least 1,993 people were murdered across the province during the previous six months of this year. However, the police had reported at least 1,915 murder cases during the corresponding period in 2017.

The police have declared at least 18 murder cases as untraceable while 636 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 six months of this year if compared to the corresponding period of 2017. The provincial police registered 2,593 attempted murder cases against 2,113 such incidents.

HURT: The police, during the first six months of this year, reported at least 7,550 “Hurt” cases in the category of crime against person. However, the provincial police had reported 7,864 such cases during the first six months of 2017.

KIDNAPPING: The provincial police registered at least 7,823 abduction cases during the first six months of 2018 as compared to 6,771 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 16 cases of kidnapping for ransom were also registered with the police during the first six months of this year. Last year, the police had reported at least 22 cases of kidnapping for ransom.

RAPE/GANG-RAPE: At least 1,587 rape cases were registered with the provincial police during the first 6 months of this year while during the matching period of 2017 the police had reported 1,374 rape cases. Similarly, at least 103 cases of gang-rape were reported by police during the first six months of this year against 89 gang rape incidents registered with the police during the same period last year. The police also reported at least 4,049 cases under the head of “Others” in the category of crime against person.

DACOITIES: The police during the first six months of this year reported at least 330 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) against 334 such cases registered with the provincial police during the same period in 2017. At least 95 dacoity cases are still under investigation while police have declared at least nine dacoity cases as untraceable.

ROBBERIES: The new police data shows that at least 5,792 armed robberies were reported during the first six months of this year against 5,991 such cases reported during the corresponding period of 2017. Similarly, at least 5,431 cases of burglary were reported by the police during the first six months of 2018 against 5,231 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 698 theft cases against 790 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 2,619 cattle theft cases were registered with the police during the first six months of 2018 while the police had reported 2,470 such cases during the same period in 2017.

MOTOR VEHICLE SNATCHING: The police during the first six months of 2018 reported at least 1,544 cases of motor-vehicle-snatching while during the same period in 2017 the police had reported 1,688 such cases. As far as the motor-vehicle theft is concerned, the police this year reported at least 7,854 cases against 7,283 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 incidents of “police encounters” or staged shootouts registered a decreased drastically during the first six months of this year. The police killed at least 43 alleged criminals in ‘armed encounters’ which took place in different parts of the province during the first six months of this year as compared to 134 criminals killed in such shootouts with police during the corresponding period in 2017. Also, at least eight policemen lost their lives while fighting criminals during the first six months of this year.