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Karachi street crime

Updated Jan 10, 2017 07:57pm


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MOST citizens of Karachi have either been held up at gunpoint themselves, or have friends or family members who have gone through this terrifying ordeal. In fact, muggers do not have the slightest compunction in pulling the trigger at even a hint of resistance. Many valuable lives have been lost for not handing over a mobile phone or wallet. Recent data compiled by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, published in this paper on Monday, has revealed that despite a drop in other violent crimes, the epidemic of street crime continues unabated in the metropolis. The data says that in 2016, over 34,000 mobile phones were either snatched or stolen across Karachi; moreover, the CPLC has zeroed in on 60 ‘hot spots’ spread out across the vast expanse of the city that are particularly prone to street crime. The seriousness of the situation can be gauged by the fact that during last week’s meeting of Sindh’s Apex Committee, the provincial chief minister ordered the administration to carry out a “vigorous operation” against street crime.

The effort of compiling data is commendable as it gives law enforcers some sort of baseline to work with, though it can be argued that the figures cited here may only be the tip of the iceberg; due to the mostly lethargic response of the police, many victims of street crime are reluctant to report their mobile phones, wallets or vehicles as snatched or stolen. Now that areas particularly prone to street crime have been identified, the police have no excuse to not crack down on this menace. Constant patrolling in the areas, as well as the deployment of undercover personnel and plainclothesmen, can help catch criminals in the act, and make these neighbourhoods safer for citizens. Reduction in the incidence of targeted killings, kidnappings, extortion and other violent crimes have indeed allowed the people of Karachi to breathe easier; however, citizens will only be able to sleep easy once street crime is controlled.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2017


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Comments (13) Closed

Syed F. Hussaini Jan 10, 2017 03:44am

All the thugs work for the police.

Subodh Jain Jan 10, 2017 04:20am

Horrible, just horrible. If, an average citizen cannot feel safe, what good are the state and federal government.

Dannish Jan 10, 2017 05:41am

Police need to be completely depoliticize if crimes need to be controlled.

Sindh politicians should give police department for lease to either British or US police department and stop interfering in police matters.

MJS Jan 10, 2017 06:46am

Without the involvement of Police, street crime is not possible. Bring reforms to Police and crime will be reduced as a consequence.

Ali Jan 10, 2017 07:33am

Legalise the guns for self defense (it's already allowed but process is very time consuming). Perhaps make a constitutional amendments similar to the US const. Allow guns to every citizen in Karachi, no one would dare touch any citizen then, fearing his own life. Street crime would literally vanish.

Hindering the guns has only caused problems for the deserving lawful citizens, the criminals have unhindered supply of arms for them and they can do whatever they want with them.

The debate of guns or no guns in US is mostly because of alcohol related shootings and that I believe should not be a problem in the land of pure.


Dannish Jan 10, 2017 08:10am

Need a good police force and honest leadership.

Jalbani Baloch Jan 10, 2017 10:53am

Karachi is a vast and haphazardly expanded city. So, the paroling or posting of plainclothsmen may not be a complete solution. In such a situation, the only way to keep a constant vigil on anti-social elements is to strengthen the network of spy cameras, which may be fixed in the nook and corner of the city and I am sure this will greatly help the law enforcing agencies to identify and track the criminals.

ATif khan Jan 10, 2017 11:49am

Just resolve this through "Police Sting Operations" just as has been done in other similar cities like NewYork, Chicago, London etc.

Panacea Jan 10, 2017 12:17pm

Police itself is the abettor of street crimes in Karachi. The only way to curb all sorts of crimes in this city lies in local policing system under command of elected mayor of Karachi.

Imran ali Jan 10, 2017 02:31pm

i was myself held out at gun point as soon as came out from my car by 2 person riding on 2 motor bike in gulshan - e- iqbal

ashar Jan 10, 2017 03:58pm

Where the Rangers are now?

Afectee Of street crimes Jan 10, 2017 04:13pm

Rangers should also take a part of some blame. They are not interested in protecting people of Karachi from street criminals.

Alba Jan 11, 2017 03:35pm

Pakistan refuses to admit it has a drug problem. If you don't give up your mobile phone a heroin addict might shoot you. They don't care. They are good burglars too. Heroin addicts and meth addicts have no fear. They have to do what they have to do to get money for drugs.