LAHORE - The Punjab province has witnessed record increase in the crime rate during the first eight months of this year as compared to the previous.

The latest police data reveals that the incidents of murder, attempted murder, abduction, kidnapping for ransom, rape, and gang-rape are on the rise. Similarly, dacoities, robberies, burglaries, motor-vehicle-theft, and cattle theft also swelled to an alarming level throughout the province, thanks to the government for leaving citizens at the mercy of criminals.

The provincial police registered at least 258,145 cases of crime during the first eight months of 2018 with substantial increase in the incidents of crime against person and crime against property.

According to police figures, at least 54,554 cases were registered in the category of crime against property from January to August as compared to 53,142 such cases reported by police during the same period last year. Similarly, the police registered at least 34, 474 cases in the category of crime against person this year as compared to 33,693 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 258, 145 cases of crime from January to August this year while last year the police had reported 276,113 cases of crime during the same period. More than 37,759 cases are still under investigation and the police have failed to trace criminals behind no less than 9,354 cases.

However, the cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” decreased slightly during the first eight months of 2018 as compared to the previous year.

The police reported 85,735 cases in the category of local and special laws violations this year while last year at least 102, 614 cases were reported by police under this head. Also, police reported at least 83,382 cases of crime under the head of “Miscellaneous Laws” during the first 8 months of this year against the last year’s 86, 664 cases reported in the same category.

The conviction rate however improved comparatively. At least 62,513 persons were convicted during the first 8 months of this year while last year at least 54,710 persons had been convicted in various cases during the same period. Also, at least 47,235 persons were acquitted this year while at least 50,044 persons were acquitted in different cases during the corresponding period of last year.

MURDER: The incidents of murder registered an increase during the first eight months of 2018 as compared to the previous year. At least 2,742 people were murdered across the province during the previous eight months of this year. However, the police had reported at least 2,707 murder cases during the corresponding period of 2017.

The police have declared at least 34 murder cases as untraceable while 721 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 eight months of this year if compared to the corresponding period of 2017. The provincial police registered 3,514 attempted murder cases against 2,959 such incidents.

HURT: The police, during the first eight months of this year, reported at least 10,321 “Hurt” cases in the category of crime against person. However, the provincial police had reported 11,206 such cases during the first 8 months of 2017.

KIDNAPPING: The provincial police registered at least 10,236 abduction cases during the first 8 months of 2018 as compared to 9,499 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 35 cases of kidnapping for ransom were also registered with the police during the first eight months of this year. Last year, the police had reported only 27 cases of kidnapping for ransom.

RAPE/GANG-RAPE: At least 2,197 rape cases were registered with the provincial police during the first eight months of this year while during the matching period of 2017 the police had reported 2,052 rape cases. Similarly, at least 133 cases of gang-rape were reported by police during the first 8 months of this year against 129 gang rape incidents registered with the police during the same period in 2017. The police also reported at least 5,296 cases under the head of “Others” in the category of crime against person.

DACOITIES: The police, during the first eight months of this year reported at least 479 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) against 445 such cases registered with the provincial police during the same period in 2017. At least 131 dacoity cases are still under investigation while police have declared at least 29 dacoity cases as untraceable.

ROBBERIES: The new police data shows that at least 8,561 armed robberies were reported during the first eight months of this year against 8,212 such cases reported during the corresponding period of 2017. Similarly, at least 7,476 cases of burglary were reported by the police during the first eight months of 2018 against 7,307 such cases registered with the police during the same period in 2017.

THEFT: During the first seven months of this year the provincial police registered 901 theft cases against 1061 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 3,550 cattle theft cases were registered with the police during the first eight months of 2018 while the police had reported 3,459 such cases during the same period in 2017.

MOTOR VEHICLE SNATCHING: The police during the first eight months of 2018 reported at least 2,297 cases of motor-vehicle-snatching while during the same period in 2017 the police had reported 2,312 such cases. As far as the motor-vehicle theft is concerned, the police this year reported at least 11, 638 cases against 10,199 such incidents reported during the same period in 2017.

Auto-lifting has become a booming business across the Punjab province. 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” every year.