RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: There was a surge in murder, vehicle lifting and child molestation cases during four months of the current year in the garrison city of Rawalpindi despite top-level changes made in the police department.

A total of 7,065 cases were registered with the police from January to April 2019 compared to 6,122 cases reported in the same period in 2018. However, there was a decrease in house break-in cases, theft and armed robberies which the police claimed was due to the arrest of some gangs of robbers and burglars.

As many as 100 people lost their lives while 131 murderous attempts were recorded across Rawalpindi so far this year.

As many as 7,065 cases were registered between January and April compared to 6,122 cases reported to police in same period last year

According to a statistical review of the reported crime incidents, 92 people were murdered and eight others were killed during armed robberies compared to 68 people murdered and six others killed in robberies in the same period last year.

Properties worth millions of rupees were lost to thieves, burglaries and robberies.

Moreover, 139 women were kidnapped this year compared to 170 such cases in the initial four months of last year. The police also received 38 kidnapping cases compared to 68 cases registered the first quarter of 2018.

As many as 22 rape and one gang rape cases were reported to the police in Rawalpindi this year compared to 23 such cases between January and April 2018. One incident of kidnapping for ransom was also reported in the first four months this year.

Moreover, 226 cars were taken away, five of them snatched at gunpoint from their owners, compared to 166 cars taken away by thieves, including seven snatched at gunpoint last year.

As many 288 motorcycles were also stolen, 33 snatched at gunpoint, compared to 246 stolen and 34 snatched last year. Besides, 65 other vehicles were stolen compared to 51 other vehicles stolen in the same period in 2018.

However, there was a decrease in armed robberies as 191 such cases were reported in the first four months of 2019 compared to 240 cases in the same period in 2018.

There was also an increase in child molestation cases as 29 incidents were reported to the police compared to 26 in 2018.

Citizens attributed the decrease in burglaries from 193 last year to 124 this year to the public awareness and alertness.

The newly-posted Punjab police chief Arif Nawaz Khan called a crime meeting of all the divisional police chiefs, CPOs and the district police officers at his office on Sunday.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Ahmed Ishaq Jehangir and CPO Rawalpindi Abbas Ahsan also attended the meeting.

The IGP directed the police officers to take strict action against supporters of criminal elements in police uniform.

The IGP also directed the police to remove all entry and exit point checkposts at all districts and start snap checking/mobile checking. Besides other issues, vehicle theft and strengthening of security of CPEC and foreigners also came under discussion at the meeting.

Capital police round up 4,293 suspects

The Islamabad police arrested 4,293 suspects during the first four months of the year and recovered looted valuables worth more than Rs281 million from them, a spokesman said.

He said 158 dacoity and robbery cases were traced and 310 suspects arrested besides recovery of looted items worth Rs26.9 million from them.

The police also nabbed 276 suspects allegedly involved in 182 cases of street crime and theft while looted items worth Rs87 million were recovered from them. As many as 94 people were held for their alleged involvement in 117 cases of car tampering and theft while 124 vehicles were recovered from them.

Likewise, 77 bike lifters were held and 78 stolen motorcycles were from their possession. The police also arrested 631 absconders, including 301 proclaimed offenders and 330 court absconders.

Moreover, 614 suspects were held for their alleged involvement in bootlegging and drug peddling and 220.8 kilogrammes hashish, 20,644 kg heroin, 6.4 kg opium, 1.3 gram ice, 11gm cocaine and 6,616 bottles of liquor were recovered from them.

The police launched a special crackdown against those involved in supplying drugs to students of different educational institutions and nabbed seven people after registering cases against them.

The police said five kg hashish and 325gm heroin were recovered from the suspects.

The police also arrested 309 people for possessing illegal weapons and recovered 19 Klashnikovs, six carbines, 22 daggers, 275 pistols and 6,167 rounds from them.

Eight blind murders cases were also traced and 16 people allegedly involved in these cases were nabbed.

The police arrested 895 suspects during search operations conducted with personnel of law enforcement agencies.

The spokesman said 19 people were also arrested for selling unhygienic food items while 55 others were rounded up for selling petroleum products illegally.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2019