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Street crime decreased during Ramazan, says Karachi police chief


May 23, 2020

Karachi Police Chief Ghulam Nabi Memon has claimed that street crime in the city decreased in Ramazan this year as compared to the same month last year.

Talking to The News on Friday, Memon, Karachi’s additional inspector general of police, said street crime, which included cellphone and cash snatching incidents, was the biggest challenge, but they had managed to control the crime, especially during the month of Ramazan this year.

He added that last year during Ramazan there were 871 cases of cellphone snatchings, whereas this Ramazan 477 cellphones -- 394 less -- as compared to the previous year.

Additional IGP Memon, sharing other crime figures that were reported during last and this Ramazan, said that 19 cases of killings were reported in the holy month in 2020, and the number was 14 in the same month last year.

Twelve four-wheelers were snatched in Ramazan in 2019, while in 2020 only four vehicles were snatched with a difference of eight. Sixty four-wheelers were stolen in the holy month in 2019, while 34 were stolen during this year’s Ramazan, 71 motorcycles were snatched in 2019, and the number was 74 this year, he said, adding that 1,233 were stolen in 2019, while 1,051 stolen in this year’s Ramazan.

He added that to counter the menace of street crime, he had made a strategy under which they would form a ‘Street Watch Force’, point out hotspots like ATM outlets, places where there were traffic jams, traffic lights, deserted streets, and entry and exit points.

Moreover, Memon said, the target was handling IMEI blockade and raids on illegal markets. To curb street crime, he said, they had to develop a complete database of criminals, and also develop information of those arrested red-handed, identify criminals with the help of CCTV footage, hunt gangs in operations, make a ‘Criminals Most Wanted App’, which was almost ready, make strong cases against repeat offenders, and to also propose separate courts for the crime.

The Karachi police chief said that to prevent motorcycle thefts they had already identified hotspots, including motorcycle parking lots, set up pickets at exits to Hub and other far-flung areas, and were making use of CCTV footage. He said they were also using a tracking device and keeping a watch on spare parts markets in the city. Moreover, he said, the strategy also included the hunting of gangs involved and making strong cases against repeat offenders.

Memon said courts granting bail to was also a factor that undermined efforts to control street crime. He said it was because of weak cases as people who became complainants refused to attend court proceedings or become witnesses, and they also refused to come for statements, and this enabled the criminals to get bail.

He requested the citizens to counter the menace of street crime in the city, saying the public must report any such crime to Madadgar-15. He also requested the complainants to come and pursue the court proceedings so that criminals could pay for their crimes with court sentences.

The additional IGP said they had also started preparing a comprehensive strategy against narcotics trafficking and consumption in the city. In this connection, a meeting was held at the Karachi Police Office to review the affairs related to the increasing use of narcotics in the city.

DIG Sharjeel Kharral apprised the meeting about the steps being taken to counter the narcotics trade in the South Zone of the city.

The SSP Investigation South informed the meeting about the issues and shortcomings in the process of investigating the cases of narcotics trafficking.

The additional IGP said that he had issued directives that every mobile van associated with police stations in the city should be provided with an investigation kit. The meeting decided to conduct training for investigating officers of police on the most modern lines.

The meeting decided that reports would be compiled to assess the performance of investigating officers of the police.