A surge in “violent crimes” on the streets of Lahore in the past 50 days has left over 44 people dead, a media report said on Friday. Geo News, citing official figures, reported that 423 cases of street crimes were reported with the police from October 1 to November 22 in Lahore.
Over 650 motorcycles have been either snatched or stolen in the same period in the city with a population of over 15 million and a police force of a mere 24,000. Karachi, which has always been in the news due to its street crimes, has seen a decline in the murder incidents as compared to Lahore.
In one month, 23 people were murdered in Karachi while 23 bank robberies were reported. Ninety-nine cars were stolen and over 1,000 mobile phones were snatched or stolen. Meanwhile, in the same period in Rawalpindi, 18 people were murdered, 29 violent robberies were reported and 20 street crimes were bought to the notice of the police. Some 33 cars were also snatched or stolen in the same period.
The Lahore Police claim that “habitual offenders”, who were behind the surge in Lahore, have a history of being involved in house and bank robberies and kidnappings for ransom. A police officer said 60 per cent of these criminals belonged to the adjoining cities and districts such as Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Kasur and Nankana Sahib. “They visit Lahore to commit crime and return to their home districts to mislead the Lahore Police about their locations,” said the officer.