Top cops with no workable plan to control crime rate

ISLAMABAD: An alarming surge in the crime rate in the capital city is badly negating the tall claims of the Islamabad police of controlling the activities of the criminal elements. Since coming to power in June 2013, the PML-N dispensation have introduced two heads of the Islamabad police , one after the other, but even the new top cop seem overwhelmed with the security duties , and a workable plan to deal with surging the crime rate is no where in sight.A survey by the Daily Times suggested that the overall number of offences in the city rose by more than sixteen percent over the last six months. There was a rise of 17 percent in car and bike thefts, and ransom calls to individuals, who have had their cars stolen. The crime rate in robberies, thefts, burglaries increased by 15 percent, while there was 11 percent rise observed in purse and mobile snatching, cash and ATM cards. 10 percent rise in drug-peddling and liquor selling and illegal distilleries, and four percent in gambling dens. The change appears to have been driven by an unexpected increase in burglaries, a continuing surge in muggings and the capital police indifference. However, the police report says that the increase in burglary and rise in street robbery was apparently fuelled by the rise in poverty. "The main cause has been an upturn in the use of drugs which has fuelled the crime rate. Criminals find ways to extort money to meet their drug addiction," the reports said.After years of eye-catching but superficial initiatives, there is not even any prospect of the capital police making a serious impact on crime, the residents said. "The official published statistics are always wrong so as to save the police departments face. Police officers avoid recording some offences in an attempt to improve their performance figures," they said. However, a police official, while defending the accuracy of their crime figures blamed the media for data manipulation. "Their scaremongering reports that Islamabad is facing a record rise in the crime wave are completely unfounded. Sham reporting standards encourage us to defend less proportion of offences in the city. Crime data is reviewed on a regular basis. Given that the crime has fallen significantly since the last year and that the chances of being a victim are now at the lowest, however, some rise in crime would not be a surprise," the official said.Amjad Ali, an engineer from Sector G9 said, "I am shocked that apparently such manipulation of police statistics could possibly happen on such a wide scale and become so institutionally prevalent." On the other hand, the police officials said, "We have a robust and ethical system of crime recording, which is subject to a high level of scrutiny. Strong arrangements at senior level for securing crime data supported by helpful plans, policies, and strategies removes any chance of manipulation of crime statistics. Crimes must be recorded ethically and in accordance with the prescribed rules." The police also reject the claims they are concentrating too much on security issue at the expense of more serious crimes, as new figures reveal a rise in burglaries and robberies. "We are committed to tackling both security and serious crimes," the police officials said.However, figures for the period from January 1 to June 30 show 11 percent increase in house burglaries, 18 percent increase in robberies, and a five percent increase in assaults with injury across the city. A senior police official, while talking to the media personnel said, "We have once again decided to control the crime with cooperation of the Islamabad residents. Crime prevention is a key component of community mobilization, and strong community partnerships are an essential element of any crime reduction strategy. We would educate and assist the community members to be more aware of their own safety, and to be proactive in the reduction of crime and eliminating the opportunity for crime."

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