KARACHI, Dec 21: Provincial Home Minister Rauf Siddiqui on Tuesday claimed a considerable decline in the crime rate in Karachi and the rest of the province during the past six months due to effective government policies and improved performance of police and rangers.
Speaking at a press briefing at his office, the minister released statistics showing the crime graph during the first and the second half the current year. According to data, a total of 314 people were kidnapped in Sindh during January-December 2004.
Out of them, 106 were kidnapped in Karachi alone - 53 in the first half and 53 in the second half. However, kidnapping incidents declined in the interior parts of the province where 134 people were kidnapped during the January-June period and 74 during July-December.
The minister said the number of cell phone snatching /theft incidents during January-June this year stood at 720, but declined to 438 during the second half of the year.
Car and motorcycle snatching/ theft cases also registered a decline in Karachi, the minister said and added that 2,515 cases of motorcycle lifting were reported during January-June but the number decreased to 2,032 in the second half. Similarly, 1,420 cases of cars snatching were reported in January-June and 1,387 in July-December.
As many as 547 robberies were reported in the first half and 506 in the second half in Karachi. The number of murders on personal grounds, however, increased from 358 in the first half to 385 in the second half in Karachi alone.
In the interior of the province 442 murder cases were registered during the January-June period which increased to 470 in the second half. However, bike snatching/theft cases declined from 368 in the first half to 284 in the second half, while 102 car snatching/ theft cases were registered in the first half and 103 in the second half.
Number of robberies also declined from 218 in the first half to 200 in the second half. Statistics showed that 78 personnel of law-enforcement agencies lost their lives and 53 suffered injuries in the first half, while only eight were killed and 14 suffered injuries in the second half during encounters with outlaws. Compared to 19 in the first half, 23 criminals were killed in the second half of the year in encounters, the minister stated.
Mr Siddiqui also presented comparative figures of crimes taking place in developed countries ranging 26.06 per cent to 44.91 per cent, and said the crime rate in Karachi was just 4.60 per cent which proved that the city was a peaceful place and that aspect was needed to be highlighted by the media.
In reply to a question, the minister said a ban on the sale of used mobile phone sets had been imposed till Dec 31, to overcome the incidents of cell phone snatching. He said in case traders did not follow the ban and continued to sell used mobile phones, they would be arrested and their shops would be sealed. - PPI