KARACHI, a city of millions of people that generates 20-25 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), has become a target of criminal activities over the last few years. Crimes occur in almost every big city, but their pace and frequency in Karachi are alarming, and need a holistic intervention from the state and society.

Karachi’s biggest problem at the moment, it seems, is street crimes, which involves snatching of mobile phones, cash and motorcycles. So far, law-enforcement mechanism seems helpless; so helpless so consistently that people have started dispensing mob justice.

Unchecked socio-demographic trends, unemployment, low police visibility, and the absence of community policing appear to be some of the key factors that contribute to the city’s alarming crime rate. The state has to deploy a much larger police force in Karachi, especially in areas with high crime rate, which should actually be monitored through a full-scale hotspot policing system.

Moreover, there is a need for building a semblance of trust between the police and the public, and that can be done by implementing a system of community policing and recruitment from among the local population. Also, the constant influx of people from all over Pakistan has to be regulated. Areas with mixed ethnicities are more prone to crimes as more than a few studies have pointed out.

Additionally, addressing the pressing issues of unemployment and poverty will facilitate in the long run all efforts to effectively eliminate crimes from the city.

Anwar Sayab Khan
Bannu

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2024

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