LAHORE In spite of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharifs hectic efforts to curb crime and strict directives to the big guns of Punjab police, the number of proclaimed offenders (POs) and court absconders (CAs) are constantly on the rise in the province, showing a 70 per cent increase in 2010. The official statistics of Punjab police reveal 20 per cent increase in POs and 50 per cent increase in CAs. The analysis of official data of Punjab police shows the bigwigs of the provincial police are losing their grip over the force as the police have been unsuccessful to nab POs or CAs during the last year. The upward trend of crime in all categories could not be stopped in this regard as about 1,03,209 accused were announced as POs and were added to the rest of 59,784 proclaimed offenders reaching over 1,62,993. The Punjab police however claimed to have arrested 90, 723 POs out of total 1,62,993 but according to the closing balance over 70,000 POs are still at large. About 590 POs were struck off from their cases or were gunned down in staged police encounters, which took place in different parts of the Punjab. Courts announced over 60,000 accused as absconders including dozens of police officers across the country. Adding the closing balance 28,614 of 2009, the total figure of CAs approached to 88,635 in 2010 while the police also managed to hunt over 45,000 CAs. About 190 CAs were struck off from the total figure but the data shows over 43,000 CAs are still roaming across the country. The provincial police further failed to hound other gangsters across Punjab as according to police claims over 2,300 gangs were busted in 2010 with a minor decrease as compared to the corresponding period of 2009. However, the police apprehended 8,180 members of total 2,371 gangs, which emerged in Punjab in 2010. The alarming situation was also observed regarding illegal sophisticated weapons, which were recovered from the gangsters during search operations launched in different districts of the province. According to the official documents, Punjab police recovered 170 hand grenades, 780 Kalashnikovs, over 3,800 rifles, 5,980 guns, over 33,000 revolvers/pistols, 3,930 carbines and 2,410 sharp-edged weapons from the possession of accused during the aforementioned search operations. As many as 48,662 cases were registered against criminals under Arms Ordinance of Police Order 2002 during 2010 while the provincial police also claimed to have arrested over 47,744 accused under Arm Ordinance.