LAHORE - A record number of cases related to heinous crimes were reported across Punjab this year.

According to the police data, incidents of kidnapping for ransom, abduction, rape and violence against women swelled significantly this year. The police killed hundreds of suspected criminals in staged encounters, but these extrajudicial killings failed to help police control crime.

The overall crime rate almost remains the same in the Punjab province in 2017 as compared to the previous year. The rising violence was driven by an increase in the cases of abductions, rape and violence against women.

Although incidents of murder, robbery and vehicle theft registered a slight decrease in 2017 compared to 2016 yet police reported a record number of such cases.

The reported crime cases are divided into two categories. The first category (crime against person) has eight sub-categories – murder, attempted murder, hurt, kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, rape, gang rape and others. The second category (crime against property) includes dacoity, robbery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, motor vehicle snatching, cattle theft and others.

According to police, at least 42,148 cases were registered under the head of crime against person during the first 10 months of 2017 as compared to 43,452 such cases reported during the same period in 2016. Similarly, the police this year registered at least 66,938 cases in the category of crime against property as compared to 67,281 such cases reported during the same period last year.

The provincial police registered an overall 341,829 crime cases from January to October this year, while last year the police had reported at least 343,859 cases during the corresponding period. The official record reveals that the police investigators failed to trace at least 13,292 crime cases reported across the province during this year. More than 36,800 cases are still under investigation.

MURDER: The incidents of murder decreased slightly during the 10 months of 2017 as compared to the previous year. At least 3,437 murder cases were reported from January to October this year in Punjab. Last year, during the same period, at least 3,568 murder cases were reported to the provincial police.

Police investigators were unable to solve many blind murder cases. In the category of blind murder, most of the victims were women who were found brutally murdered in different parts of the province.

KIDNAPPINGS: The police during the first ten months of this year reported at least 11,730 abduction cases, while last year at least 11,618 cases were reported by the police. Also, the Punjab police registered at least 35 cases of kidnapping for ransom in the first ten months of the year. Last year, at least 31 such cases were registered with the police under the head of kidnapping for ransom.

RAPE/GANG RAPE: At least 2,608 rape cases were registered with the provincial police from January to October this year, while during the matching period in 2016 the police had reported 2,585 rape cases. Similarly, 159 cases of gang rape have been registered by police this year against 192 such cases reported during the first 10 months of 2016.

DACOITIES: The police reported at least 569 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) in the first 10 months of the current year against last year’s 801 cases.

ROBBERIES: The new police data shows that at least 10,359 armed robberies were reported during the first ten months of this year against 11,412 such cases reported during the corresponding period in 2016.

BURGLARY: At least 9,223 cases of burglary were reported by the police this year against 9,867 such cases registered during the same period last year.

THEFT: The provincial police registered 1,286 theft cases from January to October this year against 1,181 theft cases reported during the corresponding period in 2016. The police also claimed a considerable decrease in cattle theft cases this year as compared to the previous year. According to police, at least 4,248 cattle theft cases were registered during the first ten months of this year in Punjab, while last year the police had reported 4,603 cases during the same period.

MOTOR VEHICLE SNATCHING: This year, the police reported at least 2,909 cases of motor vehicle snatching in the first ten months, while during the same period in 2016 the police had reported 3,218 cases. As far as the motor-vehicle theft is concerned, the police reported 13,145 cases against the previous year’s 13,343 cases during the same period. In Punjab, auto lifting has become a booming business.

SHOOTOUTS: The Punjab police killed more than 226 alleged criminals during ‘armed encounters’ in the first 10 months of this year as compared to 292 criminals killed in shootouts with police during the corresponding period last year.  Also, at least 16 policemen lost their lives and 54 others were wounded while fighting criminals from January to October this year. Last year, at least 23 police had died and 37 others were wounded while fighting back criminals in first 10 months.

Meanwhile, the Punjab police reported an overall 341,829 cases of crime from January to October this year while last year the police had reported 343,859 cases of crime during the corresponding period. The cases reported by police under the head of “local and special laws violations” also registered a slight decrease during the first 10 months of 2017 as compared to the previous year.  The police reported 123,732 cases in the category of local and special law violations while in 2016 at least 126,198 cases had been registered under this head. The police also reported at least 123,732 cases of crime under the head of Miscellaneous Laws against the last year’s 126,198 cases reported in the same category.