THE robbery-cum-murder of a bakery employee on Sunday, in which Rs 2.2 million were taken, shows how the law and order situation in the provincial capital cannot be counted as safe. It seems that the crime figures for August, which show a 20 percent increase, and saw Rs 240 million robbed from the citizens, are accurate to the extent that it provides an example of the kind of crime that the authorities are unable to stop. One really wonders whether that much loss really occurred. It seems not just money and goods were robbed, but also seven people were killed, and 18 were injured. All this occurred not just in Ramazan and while the country was suffering its worst ever floods, but was part of a trend that had started in May; and despite the transfer of top ranking officers, including the CCPO and the DIG Investigations, July had seen an increase of 10 percent, and June 15 percent. The CCPO has tried to throw the blame on the operational wings having to provide security. This is a bad argument, because the security needs of VIPs have not increased in recent months, though crime is increasing by leaps and bounds. The new CCPO and his team have not been able to arrest the rising crime trend, and have overseen a persisting decline in law and order, and the security of life and property afforded to the ordinary citizen. Their failure has been so abject that the question of their performance does not arise. One hopes that the political leadership addresses itself to this serious problem and find a way of resolving it. The problem of political interference in policing has not been mentioned, though it too must figure as a problem. However, it is not a recent problem, and at present is much reduced. Therefore, the increase in the incidence of crime must be ascribed to the inefficiency of policing, and thus it is the responsibility of the political leadership to find the officers who can deliver peace and security to the citizenry.