LAHORE - In the holy month of Ramazan when all the Muslims pay full attention to worship, criminals in the metropolis appear to have stepped up efforts to commit crimes. Statistics have shown 20 per cent increase in crime rate in August as compared to July despite the fact that some important changes in the police department had been made couple of months back to curb the crimes. It is worth mentioning here that new police officials including Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mohammad Aslam Tareen and Deputy Inspector General Operations Rao Sardar Ali Khan were brought in the City three months back to bring the crime graph down but it seemed a fruitless effort. In July the crime rate had shot up by 10 per cent and in June by 15 per cent, giving an open challenge to the Punjab government, which already had been struggling to cope with the devastating floods. Talking to this scribe, CCPO Mohammad Aslam Tareen attributed rise in the crime rate to various reasons adding that maximum police force of operational wing had been deputed to enhance security in the City. The CCPO said that overall crime rate had shot up but the performance of some departments was praise worthy. Aslam Tareen was of the view that economical factors, unemployment and lack of resources were the major elements behind the increasing crime rate. Lahore Police (Operations) spokesman also admitted that the crime ratio often increased in the month of Ram-azan. He, however, said that Rao Sardar was working hard to eliminate crimes. Police Department sources said that citizens were deprived of Rs 240 million cash, 145 cars, 230 motorbikes and 750 mobile phones in separate dacoity bids in various parts of the Punjab Capital in August while seven people were killed and as many as 18 others were injured by criminals during the robbery incidents. In the month of July at least Rs 228 millions were snatched, two people gunned down and at least 14 had suffered multiple wounds. About Rs 208 million were looted in June and Rs 180 million in the month of May from the citizens, well-established sources disclosed to this scribe. Even the dacoits were so free in their acts that they established a blockage at Lytton Road and looted the commuters on August 23. Shazim, a mobile shop owner at Shah Alam Market, was shot injured by two motorcyclists and later died in Rang Mahel on August 3. An old man, father of Allah Rakha who is an employee in Civil Secretariat, died owing to cardiac arrest during a house robbery in Gawalmandi on August 7. A tennis ball player Ijaz Khan, rickshaw driver, was gunned down in Gulshan Ravi when he attempted to foil a dacoity bid near Rustam Park on August 11. A 20-year-old Mohammad Asif was strangled in Hadiyara, Abdullah, 40, was murdered in Naulakha and 32-year-old Ahsan was killed in Shadbagh during dacoity bids. Jameel and Ahmed in Shadbagh, Tariq and Muzamil in Satukatla, housewives in Kot Lakhpat and Raiwind City, Shahzad in New Anarkali, Sher Zaman in Nishter Colony, Murtaza in Sha-hdara, Tahir and Shahid Mehmood in Shafiqabad, Wajahat and Mohsin in Hanjerwal and a woman, spouse of Azam, in Sandha had sustained severe injuries during robbery incidents.