Islamabad - The prospect of a crime-free capital city seems like a reality that will not come true. In a span of only 8 months, Islamabad police have registered a total of 4500 cases in the capital’s 18 police stations.

These include cases of murder, dacoity and cheque fraud, car-lifting and rape. Bara Kahu police station took the lead with registering 364 such cases in the first 8 months of the year followed by Koral police station which registered 349 such cases in the said period. The police record reveals that most of the cases remained unresolved due to the incompetence of the police department and that of the prosecution. The figure does not include the applications that are not entertained by the police stations for registration of the FIRs. In many cases, police decline registration of criminal cases that may put a question mark on their performance. Not all applicants have the resources and time to approach judiciary for registration of FIR in case police declines to entertain their cases.

The number of cases being registered on a daily basis is contrary to the claims of the police department of successfully curbing crime in the city. Despite setting up pickets around every intersection of the city and patrolling motorbikes and vans for snap-checking, tackling crime remains a challenge for capital’s police. In addition to that, there is 24hr monitoring through hundreds of security cameras installed under the Safe City Project. In 2016, Islamabad witnessed 96 murders, 17 cases of dacoity, 242 robberies, 259 burglaries, 255 cases of car theft and 179 cases of motorcycle theft.

According to official figures, Islamabad police have no clue about the 221 most wanted persons despite a lapse of many years. Thousands of proclaimed offenders and absconders roam freely in the capital. Majority of these criminals were involved in robberies, street crimes, and vehicle lifting. Interestingly, the police, during the search operations, apprehend those without proof of identity. Despite a regular search operation scheme, very few hardcore criminals have been arrested by the law-enforcers.

When contacted, a police spokesman said that there is a decline in the crime rate in the city. He attributed the increase in the number of the FIRs to reasons such as recovery of narcotics, weapons, vehicles and traffic accidents. He was of the view that actual crime has decreased in the year 2017 and has been continuously on the decline. He told The Nation that many persons have been booked under section 285, 286 of the PPC for illegal refilling of LPG in cylinders which might have swelled the number of registered FIRs. Furthermore, he said, many FIRs were registered for cheque fraud and recovery of tampered vehicles. When asked if possession of illegal arms was not a crime, the spokesman had no answer.

The law and order situation of the capital is not satisfactory and a sense of insecurity prevails among the citizens. The police need to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to not only curb robberies and dacoities but to also arrest the perpetrators so that the 2.1 million residents of the city can feel secure.