Karachi crime

Editorial Board
September 18, 2022

As the commercial and economic hub of the country, Karachi should have been a safe city. The reality shows otherwise but the police chief seems to be content that the crime rate in the city is lower...

Share Next Story >>>

As the commercial and economic hub of the country, Karachi should have been a safe city. The reality shows otherwise but the police chief seems to be content that the crime rate in the city is lower than in Lahore. In this megacity, street crimes have not subsided, robberies are on the rise and the situation needs immediate attention but Karachi police chief Jawed Alam Odho has only recently tried to prove that the situation in Karachi is not as bad as it is being made out to be. He was talking to the media at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and refused to believe that crime was rising in Karachi. On Sept 16, Odho visited the KCCI to hear about the problems traders were facing. Though he did try to assure them of full cooperation in solving their problem, a state of denial was clearly visible. According to reports, he said the people of Karachi were 'their own enemies' and made a lot of noise to spread sensation and that resulted in a lack of investment in the city. He added that crime incidents in the city have actually reduced – according to him, 18,000 vehicles were snatched or stolen last year, but this year the number is 13,000.

The police in Karachi would do better by acknowledging the gravity of the problem rather than showing complacency or outright denying that the situation is bad. Of course, there is a need for a Safe City plan for the provincial capital but before that there is also a need to be serious about the crime issue. In most business areas, traders have installed cameras to monitor their vicinity but this arrangement on an individual level is not going to help much if police do not take the lead in controlling the crime scene. There is a need to initiate a massive plan across the city to contain the increasing number of street crimes and robberies. According to reports, in the first eight months 56,000 street crimes were reported. Then there is also a growing menace of drug peddling that is affecting mostly young and vulnerable people.

Rather than rationalizing the crime scene by citing examples of Lahore and other cities, the police must focus on their strategy to deal with criminals. Thefts of vehicles and mobile phones are also on the rise while many victims don’t even report the crime to the police for lack of cooperation and reluctance to register first information reports (FIRs). Moreover there have been hundreds of cases in which robbers shot their victims if they showed the slightest reluctance to hand over their possession or were slow in submission. The city’s business community has been raising its voice against rising incidents of crimes and their complaints the police chief must hear patiently and respond positively. If law-enforcement agencies fail to maintain law and order in Karachi, its impact is felt in the rest of the country too. The concerns of the business community as well as of the general Karachi resident must be addressed by controlling lawlessness and street crimes that run rampant day and night alike. The Karachi metropolis has for far too long suffered wave upon wave of crime and violence; the city needs a break.



More From Editorial