LAHORE - Despite the rhetoric of bigwigs of the Police Department, the crime rate this year has shot up at least by 20 per cent compared to the last year. Cases of murder, kidnapping for ransom, dacoity-cum-murder, robbery, dacoity, vehicle snatching, burglary and vehicle-lifting have increased by 20 per cent this year. The details say that some 49,123 cases of crimes heinous in nature have been registered so far in 60 police stations of the provincial metropolis during the current year. However, according to police records total number of cases of all flagitious crimes in 2008 was 48,690. Seventy-five cases of kidnapping for ransom have been reported this year at six divisions of the City, while these were just 64 in 2008. Among the said 75 cases, 11 cases have been reported at City Division, 9 at Cantt, 13 at Civil Lines, 12 at Sadar, 10 at Iqbal Town and 20 at Model Town Division, a police source revealed while talking to The Nation on Monday. He further said that compared to 2008 when 57 dacoity-cum-murder cases were registered, about 77 such cases had been reported in the City this year. Twenty cases are registered with City Division, 12 at Cantt, 7 at Civil Lines, 16 at Sadar, 9 at Iqbal Town, and 13 at Model Town. According to the source, 230 cases of dacoity have been registered this year while these were 187 in 2008. The cases include: 32 at City, 27 at Cantt, 25 at Civil Lines, 71 at Sadar, 37 at Iqbal Town and 38 at Model Town. The number of dacoity cases registered with various police stations in the City during the current year remained slightly less than the previous year. In 2008, 3,804 dacoity cases were reported while this year this number remained at 3,795. Some 840 cases of robbery have been registered at City Division, 650 at Sadar and 690 at Model Town. It was observed that the dacoits remained more active in the said three divisions. Almost 10 to 15 per cent increase was observed in vehicle snatching incidents. Last year, total cases of vehicle snatching were reported as 590, while this year at least 650 such incidents took place in the City. The major divisions hit by this sort of crime included Model Town, City and Sadar divisions. Compared to 2008 in which only 4,390 cases of vehicle-lifting were revealed by the police, this year the total number of such cases surged considerably as not less than 5,173 such hits had been reported in various police stations of the City. The major divisions of Lahore in which policemen remained busy in registering cases of vehicle-lifting include: City Division, Iqbal Town and Model Town. At present, some 3,450 cases have been registered in the said divisions. The criminals remained 'successful in dodging the policemen, as 2,650 cases of burglary had been lodged by this time. The number remained 2,230 the last year. The failure of the City Police continues, as against 520 murder cases in 2008, 540 cases have been registered so far with different police stations as per the police records. The cases of challans and other that were cancelled later were told extra from the cases registered in police stations. The cases of POs (proclaimed offenders) were also told extra from the others. On the other hand, the City Police claimed to have arrested to arrest 54,270 POs this year. A police official seeking anonymity revealed that the police busted almost 2,215 notorious gangs in 2009, besides arresting their 7,450 organised members. It is claimed that as many as 26 thousand court absconders have also been nabbed during this period. He said that 290 police encounters took place in the City. He, however, admitted that most of them were staged on the directives of big guns of the Department. He further said 5,588 sophisticated weapons were recovered from the criminals. According to an official communique, looted property worth over Rs 1117 million had been recovered during the 10 and a half months of the current year. More than 150 cars, 560 motorcycles, 3079 cellphones, 40 pick-ups and rickshaws have also been recovered from the possession of the accused. The City Police arrested more than 5000 POs, out of which 740 were involved in murder cases, 490 in attempted murder, 301 in dacoity, 908 in robbery, 1455 in burglary and 10,833 in other miscellaneous cases during the said period. Meanwhile, the Mujahid Squad also claimed of arresting more than 670 accused including 25 Pos and 44 court absconders so far. It was learnt that most of the criminals wanted by the police in heinous crimes or other antisocial activities belonged to the adjoining or nearby districts of Lahore. According to a police report, from Sheikhupura alone some 1,420 outlaws are wanted by the City Police. Similarly, 1,070 belonging to Kasur and five criminals from Rajanpur have been registered for their criminal activities in the City. According to statistics, the City Police registered around 3,013 cases of armed robbery in ten months of 2009. 308 robberies occurred in February; 317 in March; 338 in April; 394 in May; 303 in June; 279 in July; 294 in August; 308 in September; and 154 in October. By this time, the number of deadliest suicidal attacks which claimed several innocent lives, is seven, in the provincial metropolis. This is the crux of the report prepared by The Nation for the consumption of their superiors and political masters to devise a future strategy to eliminate crimes from the City.