Increase in crime particularly against women, including kidnapping and rape cases and mounting number of robberies, vehicle theft and the upward graph in the number of proclaimed offenders have forced the Regional Police Officer (RPO) to hold a meeting with the city police officer (CPO) and the police chiefs of the three districts and direct them to improve their performance.
The Rawalpindi district recorded 116 cases of kidnapping of girls/women and 15 rape cases from Jan 1 to April 13, 2017, compared to 105 kidnapping and 13 rape cases in the corresponding period last year.
Around 48 cases of abduction of women and nine rape cases were reported in the Potohar division whereas the Saddar division, comprising the rural area police stations, recorded 40 cases of kidnapping and three cases of rape compared to 38 and five cases, respectively, in 2016.
Harassment and heckling of girls and women in public places, including public transport, streets and parks, remain unreported. According to public perception, crimes against women are increasing day by day. Legal experts also agree to this perception as crimes against those aged between 18 and 25 years are pending in the family courts.
Of the total number of cases filed by women, 80pc claimed that they had been subjected to torture. On the other hand, a large number of crimes against women are not reported or registered, they say.
Since there are complications in our legal system and a delay in the criminal justice system, women victims of crimes avoid going to the police and the courts. A legal expert while talking to Pakistan Observer here on Sunday said constituting a separate cell, headed by a woman, to deal with crimes against women because harassment of women starts when the victim approaches a male staff seeking justice.
Surge in street crime, including armed robberies, theft of vehicles and killing of people during robberies have become a matter of concerns for police high-ups. Six people have been killed by robbers so far this year compared to three in the corresponding period in 2016.
The RPO has reportedly expressed dissatisfaction over the working of the district police in apprehending proclaimed offenders as their number was also increasing. He has asked the police officers to chalk out a fresh mechanism to control vehicle theft and robberies.
According to figures, 256 armed robbers, including vehicle snatching, 142 burglary and 155 theft cases were reported to the police so far this year compared to 164 robberies, including vehicle snatching, 142 burglary and 132 theft cases in 2016. Moreover, 190 cases of car theft and 159 of motorcycle theft were reported compared to 171 and 135 such cases in 2016. However, it was not known how many stolen vehicles and valuables were recovered by the police. Besides, 55 murder and 74 attempted murder cases were reported so far this year compared to 63 murder and 90 attempted murder cases reported last year.