KARACHI: Amid the pro-active policing and ongoing “targeted-operation” by the Rangers, the number of criminal activities — from killings to extortion to kidnapping for ransom — remained at lower side in 2018 compared to previous year but the street crimes remained a challenge for the Sindh government and security establishment which has seen a rise during the past 12 months, police data showed on Thursday.
Barring incidents of terrorism as three acts of terrorism (bomb blasts) took place in the current year till Dec 23 as compared to no such incident in 2017, all other categories of heinous crimes registered significant decrease, revealed the data.
The police data about the situation of street crimes obtained by Dawn showed that mobile snatching incidents increased in 2018. As many as 14,321 mobile phones were snatched in 2017, while 15,038 cell phones were snatched in 2018, registering over five per cent increase in this crime.
However, snatching and theft of four wheelers and two wheelers decreased this year.
The data revealed that 233 four wheelers were hijacked at gunpoint in 2017, while 169 cars were snatched in 2018, thus registering a decrease of over 27pc in this crime.
Similarly, 2,545 two wheelers were snatched in 2017, while 2,039 motorbikes were hijacked at gunpoint this year, registering over 20pc decrease.
As many as 1,288 cars were stolen in 2017, while 1,162 four wheelers were stolen this year, indicating a 9pc fall in the crime.
A total of 25,738 two wheelers were stolen in 2017 as compared to 25,140 in 2018, indicating a decrease of over 2pc.
A total of 868 alleged street criminals were arrested red-handed in 2017, while 1,165 suspects were apprehended red-handed this year.
Among four heinous crimes, incidents of terrorism (bomb blasts) increased in 2018. The data showed that no incident of bomb blast took place in 2017, but three bomb blasts occurred this year so far.
Police claimed that 23 people lost their lives in targeted killing in 2017, but only seven incidents of targeted killings had taken place this year.
The killings carried out on other grounds also decreased during the current year.
The police data revealed that 573 people were murdered in 2017, while 447 people were killed in 2018.
Police also claimed significant decrease in incidents of kidnapping as 17 such incidents took place in 2017, but only 10 incidents of kidnappings have been reported this year so far.
The data showed that 116 cases of extortion were reported in 2017, while 109 such incidents had taken place in 2018.
As many as 453 encounters took place this year in which 62 suspects, including three terrorists and 57 street criminals, were killed while one policeman embraced martyrdom and 18 others injured.
The police claimed to have made significant increase in arrests of suspects. A total of 15,497 suspects, including 12 kidnappers, 58 extortionists and 204 alleged killers, were arrested in 2017, while 19,775 suspects, including 215 alleged killers, 23 kidnappers and 65 extortionists, were arrested.
Meanwhile, Additional IG Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh told Dawn that the city police have taken several initiatives to support victims of crimes and enhance capacity of investigation officers to increase conviction ratio before the courts in order to create deterrence against crimes.
Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2018