These days, Karachi is talked about more about street crime than anything else. However, police say the situation looks worse than it is. They also point out that they alone cannot improve things because effective legislation is needed as well as better traffic management.
They claim that the street crime rate in the city has decreased compared to the situation in recent years. To further improve the situation, some officials are suggesting changing the laws so that arrested criminals have no way to benefit during their trial.
The News spoke to various observers and law enforcement officials about the current situation as well as Karachi Police Chief Javed Alam Odho’s recent comments on the matter.
Observers and officials have defended Additional Inspector General Odho’s statement, saying he was absolutely right that the people of Karachi themselves are causing a decrease in tourism and investment in the city.
They pointed out that according to available statistics, other cities in Pakistan also have high crime rates, but locals do not paint their cities in such a negative light in order to harm local tourism and investment opportunities.
They also pointed out that businesses are moving rapidly from Karachi to other cities even though there are plenty of opportunities here including the port but people’s constant bashing of Karachi has completely done lose confidence in tourists and investors.
They said that in the name of infrastructure, the people of Karachi have plowed the soil of the city to such an extent that it has become very difficult to persuade an investor to invest in the city.
Founding the slum infrastructure has turned the whole city into a dumping ground, and now there are rumors that businesses are moving from here, they added.
Officials said that in the past, when targeted killings, extortion, arson and kidnapping for ransom were at their peak, and many people lost hope, law enforcement, especially Sindh Rangers and Police, have restored peace to the city after their joint efforts and sacrifices. many front-line soldiers who fell as martyrs.
They said that under the current scenario, while the law and order situation has improved a lot, persistent efforts are needed to achieve lasting peace and stability in the province.
They pointed out that the issue of street crime has again garnered a lot of attention, saying it resurfaces at regular intervals as certain groups begin to harm the peace of the city and spread panic using the media. social.
However, they admitted, it is undeniable that crimes are committed daily and people are injured or killed by criminals while resisting them, so this issue must be addressed as a priority.
Observers and officials said areas needing greater attention to retain peace dividends have been identified for further progress, including police reforms, better coordination between federal and provincial authorities, completion speed of the Safe City project and the need for speedy prosecutions, among others. .
They said the street crime rate has decreased since last year, adding that significant factors contributing to street crime incidents are in focus as they are analyzed over the current year.
According to them, the main contributory factor for street crime incidents is unemployment, followed by electricity shedding, fewer CCTV cameras installed and fewer cameras out of order among those installed.
They suggested some recommendations to tackle street crime, including the imposition of Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act when registering street crime cases, and also amending laws including the penal code Pakistani, so that arrested criminals cannot benefit during their trial.
They pointed out that 70% of street criminals are drug addicts, while most criminals commit crimes during the city’s frequent traffic jams.
They also blamed the car parking mafia because they are making the traffic jam situation worse due to poorly managed parking on the roads. They said protests over electricity and water issues are also a factor behind the traffic mess and an opportunity for street criminals to rob people.
Panel of lawyers
Officials said that, concerned about the low conviction rate, the city’s former police chief, Ghulam Nabi Memon, who is now Sindh’s police chief, asked the government to form a panel of lawyers to argue cases in court.
They said the analysis of the criminal justice system suggests an approach that requires improved investigations as well as the prosecution of cases in court.
The draft proposal to amend the relevant law has been sent to the government for the establishment of a panel of lawyers for the prosecution of high-profile cases, but it is still under consideration.
Officials said the creation of a panel of attorneys is a step towards helping the resource-intensive prosecution service by hiring reputable private attorneys at market-competitive rates to prosecute high-profile cases.
In addition, the officials added, it will offer the plaintiff the choice of choosing a lawyer of his choice from the panel of lawyers constituted under this mechanism.
The draft amendment seeks the creation of a panel of lawyers for the prosecution of high-profile cases as a step forward to support resource-intensive prosecution services through the contribution of reputable private lawyers recruited at tariffs competitive in the market.
It also aims to raise the conviction rate in high-profile cases to 50%, from less than 20% currently, as well as to improve the preparation of cases for the prosecution of high-profile cases.
The amendment also seeks to provide the plaintiff with the ability to opt for a lawyer of their choice based on the lawyer’s track record in pursuing high-profile cases.
The draft amendment also outlines the procedure for hiring or selecting attorneys for the proposed panel, officials said, adding that selection for the attorney panel will be open to all attorneys who meet the selection criteria.
They said that wide publicity will be given to the selection of lawyers, adding that lawyers will be selected from among those who meet the selection conditions and request their inclusion in the panel.
Officials said a selection committee will select the attorneys. The composition of the Lawyers Selection Committee will be the Attorney General as Chairman, along with the Crime & Investigation DIG, Additional Home Secretary, Additional Legal Secretary and Head of Sindh Citizens-Police Liaison Committee, have they added.
Karachi Police also recently released a video message through Chief Superintendent of Police (SSP) Irfan Ali Bahadur who released a statement regarding fake video clips circulating on social media.
SSP Bahadur said events that did not even happen in Karachi are associated with the city on social media. A music video from Latin America is among those that have gone viral, mostly in Karachi. This video is titled “Street crime and the spread of terror in Karachi”.
The officer said an incident in Faisalabad was associated with Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal. News of an incident that allegedly happened at a restaurant in Gulshan-e-Iqbal was also denied by the restaurant owner himself.
SSP Bahadur said people should support the police against these elements and report these videos on Karachi Police social media accounts. Strict legal action has been taken against such elements.