KARACHI: Major crimes such as targeted killings, terrorism, kidnapping for ransom and extortion saw a significant drop in the city but at the same time bank robberies and incidents of theft and snatching of motorcycles and mobile phones witnessed a sudden rise in 2016 when compared with 2015 crime data.

The failure to rein in street crime has thrown into question the very effectiveness of the ongoing targeted operation which completed its third year in the metropolis, according to official data provided by Karachi police and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).

“Overall security situation has improved greatly in the city this year as compared to last year but street crime still remained a major challenge for law-enforcers,” said CPLC chief Zubair Habib.

Sharing crime data of the past two years, the CPLC chief said that incidents of motorcycle theft had shot up to 25pc in outgoing year as compared to 2015 though motorcycle snatching incidents had dropped to 15pc during the same period.

Similarly, Mr Habib disclosed that mobile phone theft incidents had increased by 10pc this year as compared to last year while mobile phone snatching had dropped by 25pc.

On an average around 60 motorcycles and 35-40 mobile phones are being stolen daily

Furthermore, last year total five bank robberies were reported but in 2016, 12 incidents of bank robberies had taken place.

The CPLC chief said that motorcycles were mainly owned by poor and lower-middle class people and on an average around 60 motorcycles were being stolen daily and about 35-40 mobile phones were being stolen, which was ‘intolerable.’

He said the police authorities had made some efforts to curb street crime such as formation of patrolling squads but their effectiveness was yet to be seen. There were perhaps no SOPs (standard operating procedures) in place for checking vehicles.

Meanwhile, crime data report issued by the city police on Friday said that targeted killings had dropped to 71pc this year as compared to last year’s total of 159 but total 45 people were targeted in 2016. Similarly, terrorism incidents reduced by 60pc as only two terror incidents took place in the outgoing year as compared to five in 2015.

Kidnapping for ransom dropped by 57pc in 2016 as compared to 2015’s data, which showed total 49 incidents of kidnapping for ransom were reported in Karachi. In 2016 total 21 such incidents had taken place.

The police also claimed that extortion incidents had dropped to 34pc as total 146 such incidents were reported in the year just ended as compared to 224 incidents in 2015.

Police also claimed to have killed 318 suspects in ‘encounters’ in 2016 in the metropolis. Of them, 73 suspects allegedly belonged to banned outfits, 60 to Lyari gangs, 183 were robbers and eight were stated to be kidnappers.

Police claimed to have ‘solved’ cases of 12 major killings such as targeted killings of policemen, military and Rangers personnel, Amjad Sabri murder case, lawyers’ killings etc. However, the city police admitted that some important cases remained undetected in 2016.

The incidents included targeted killings of two members of Bohra community, murders of six members of Deobandi school of thought in district Central, killing of Ahmadi community member and DSP Faiz Ali.

Published in Dawn January 1st, 2017



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