KARACHI: With the death of a wounded teenage robbery victim shot by muggers two days ago, the number of people killed by street criminals across the metropolis in the first nine months of the current year has reached 100.

Of the 100 victims killed by robbers during the current year, 13 people were gunned down in January, 12 in February, 10 in March, 12 in April, 15 in May, nine in June, 12 in July, eight in August and nine so far during the current month.

Police sources said that until a few years ago, around 30 people would get killed on average by robbers in the metropolis. However, in 2022, around 120 people had fallen prey to street crimes in Karachi, they added.

On Wednesday, 18-year-old Ali Abbas became the 100th casualty of street crime.

Teenager injured by robbers dies during treatment, becomes 100th victim this year

Abbas and his father, Mazhar Ali Shah, were shot by robbers at their workshop near Korangi Crossing. They were under treatment at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where Abbas died during treatment on Wednesday.

Alarming rise in gangs of street criminals

Apart from the significant increase in the violent aspect of street crimes, another important thing was the increase in the number of gangs involved in robberies.

Sources said that few years ago, the number of criminal groups involved in street crimes was around 25-30 but it had now increased up to 50-60 groups.

They said that among the different types of street crimes, mobile snatching and lifting of motorbikes was on the rise and there was no let-up in them.

Police authorities claimed curbing kidnapping for ransom, targeted killings, extortion and terrorism but street crimes had tended to increase.

The data of crimes maintained by Citizens-Police Liaison Cell (CPLC) shows that during last nine months of this year, over 60,000 street crime incidents have taken place in the metropolis.

Launching of Shaheen Force, installation of CCTV cameras with the help of the community and ‘pro-active policing’ were stated to be some of the initiatives taken by the police aimed at preventing the crimes.

However, much-talked Safe City Project was yet to materialise, which the authorities believed would help them in controlling the crimes.

The police officials also considered narcotics as one of the major factors behind upsurge in the street crimes as reportedly 30pc street criminals were addicts.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2023

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