LAHORE - The Punjab province has seen an unprecedented increase in crime incidents in the first 10 months of this year as compared to the previous year.

The latest police data shows that incidents of rape, abduction, dacoity, robbery, cattle theft, and motor vehicle theft have swelled to an alarming level throughout the province. The rate of violent crime has shown upward trend, although the government replaced a couple of police chiefs this year.

The provincial police reported an overall 408,064 crime incidents during the first 10 months of this year as compared to 333,376 cases reported during the same period last year.

This year, the police registered at least 94,236 cases of crime against property from January to October while at least 71,499 such cases were reported during the corresponding period last year. Similarly, the police registered at least 44,401 cases of crime against person during the first 10 months of this year as compared to the last year’s 43,353 cases in this category.

All reported crime incidents are divided into two main categories- crime against person and crime against property. The part-I (crimes against person) includes eight categories - murder, attempted murder, hurt, kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, rape, gang rape and others. The part-II (crime against property) comprises of dacoity, robbery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, motor vehicle snatching, and cattle theft cases.

The police, during the first 10 months of 2019 reported at least 712 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) against 640 such cases registered with the provincial police during the same period in 2018.

The new police data shows that at least 14,205 armed robberies were reported during the first 10 months of 2-19 against at least 11,448 such cases reported during the corresponding period of 2018. Similarly, at least 10,215 cases of burglary were reported by the police during the first 10 months of 2019 against 9,459 such cases registered with the police during the same period in 2018.

During the first ten months of this year, the provincial police registered 1242 theft cases against 1,180 theft cases reported during the same period last year. The police data shows a record increase in cattle-theft incidents this year as compared to the previous year. According to police, at least 5,813 cattle-theft cases were registered with the police during the first ten months of 2019 while the police had reported 4,598 such cases during the same period in 2018.

Also, during the first ten months of 2019 the police reported at least 18,850 cases of motor-vehicle-theft while during the same period in 2018 the police had reported 15,608 such cases. As far as the incidents of motor-vehicle-snatching are concerned, the police this year reported at least 3313 cases against 2,954 such incidents reported during the same period in 2018.

In Punjab, auto-lifting has become a booming business and more than 20,000 citizens are deprived of their vehicles every year. Less than 10 per cent of the total snatched or stolen vehicles are recovered by police annually. Thus, thousands of auto-lifting cases are declared by police as “untraceable” every year.

At least 3,451 people were murdered across the province during the first 10 months of this year. However, the police had reported at least 3,526 murder cases during the corresponding period of the previous year. At least 4,604 attempted murder cases were reported by police this year against last year’s 4,282 such incidents while at least 12,916 “hurt” cases were registered against 13,120 such cases reported in 2018.

The police registered at least 12,828 abduction cases during the first 10 months of 2019 as compared to 12,759 kidnapping incidents reported during the corresponding period of 2018. Some 59 cases of kidnapping for ransom were also reported by police during the first 10 months of this year. Last year, the police had reported 50 such cases.

At least 3,387 rape cases were reported by the provincial police during the first 10 months of 2019 while during the matching period of 2018 the police had reported 2,846 rape cases. Similarly, the police also reported 168 gang rape cases this year against last year’s 172 cases.