KARACHI: Karachi witnessed almost 72 percent decrease in target killings in 2016 as 45 people were killed as compared to 159 such killings in 2015, a police report said on Saturday.
The Sindh police’s yearly report documented almost 33 percent decline in other killings as murders decreased from 993 to 666 while only two terrorism incidents occurred when compared to last year’s 5 incidents.
Among other heinous crimes, kidnapping for ransom incidents saw a 57 percent decrease (21 when compared to last year’s 49 incidents) while extortion saw a whopping 78 percent decrease when only 146 such incidents were reported as compared to 224 of 2015.
Motorcycle theft on the rise
The year saw a steady decline in almost all sorts of street crimes but motorcycle theft saw an alarming 32 percent rise as a total of 21502 cases were reported when compared to 16288 cases of 2015. Interestingly more bikes were stolen in Karachi than snatched as the number of snatched bikes saw a 14 percent decline with 2759 cases when compared to 2015’s 3227 cases.
Incidents of car theft and car snatching saw almost 10 and 31 percent decline respectively but as is with the motorcycles, more cars were stolen than snatched as 1504 cars were stolen while 226 cars were snatched. The numbers in 2015 were 1661 and 328 respectively.
23 percent decline in cellphone/cash snatching
Cellphone and cash snatching on gunpoint is generally considered the most rampant sort of street crime but more motorcycles theft cases were reported in the year 2016.
However, the number is no small as 15744 mobile phone/cash snatching cases were reported. The number is smaller than past year’s 20486 and 23.15% decline was witnessed in 2016.
318 hardened criminals killed
The statistics shared by Sindh police say that a total of 318 hardened criminals were killed during the year which included 73 terrorists of banned organisations and 60 Lyari gang war criminals.
A total of 28, 339 criminals and terrorists were arrested and 6030 illegal weapons, 14 suicide jackets and 1653 bomb or hand grenades were recovered from the possession of these criminals and terrorists.
17 cases ‘resolved’ including Amjad Sabri’s murder
The police report claims that the law enforcement agency resolved 18 cases including the June 22 murder of famed qawwal Amjad Sabri, killing of two army personnel in Saddar, target killing of DSP Abdul Fatah Sangri and the murder of professor Waheedur Rehman.
Overall a relieving report
Experts and analysts have termed this report satisfactory as the city witnessed a steady decline in street crimes, target killing and extortion-related incidents when compared to past many years.
The Numbeo International Crime Index in 2013 rated Karachi as the sixth most dangerous city in the World but now Sindh’s capital stands at number 31 and is falling rapidly.
Some 533 extortion cases were reported in 2013. The daily homicide rate in the city is less than two now. It used to be 10 or 15.
“We feel safe, we think Karachi is not a city which can be closed over some petty political matter or an ethnic clash or someone will send us bullets to demand extortion,” says Naveed, a businessman who owns a showroom at Tariq Road.
“Nowadays we don’t hear disturbing news of killings, murders and crimes but street crime is seeing no decline, not in my eyes. Rangers deserve all the credit for peace,” says Ali, a university student.