LAHORE - The crime rate in the Punjab Capital has swelled to an alarming level which is evident from the fact that dacoits looted no less than 65 houses in just last seven days and snatched away cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables worth Rs 45.7 million after holding the families hostage at gunpoint. Though the police have registered the cases but not even a single arrest has been made so far in this regard, police sources informed. The incidents of heinous crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, dacoity-cum-murder and house robberies are taking place in every nook and corner of the metropolis with impunity, thanks to the 'diligent police officer for putting the lives and property of the people at the mercy of dacoits and killers. The alarming increase in crime rate should be more than eye opener for the Khadam-e-Aala (Chief Minister Punjab). This is like an open secret that the City police have badly failed to control the robberies, dacoities, and other street crimes, what to say about improvement in Thana culture. Some police officers during informal chat revealed the postings and transfers of police officers and officials, right from top to bottom, had been ordered purely on someones recommendations rather than merit. According to the available data, from December 10 to 16 armed robbers barged into 65 houses situated in different pars of the City, held up the children and other family members at gunpoint and fled away after collecting cash, gold ornaments and other valuables. Reportedly, dacoits shot at and injured a man on offering resistance, looted 17 houses and snatched away cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 10 million in house robberies committed in different parts of the City on December 10. On December 11, robbers escaped after collecting cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 2.1 million during armed house robberies that took place in five different residences. A man also sustained bullet injuries on offering resistance. The next day, dacoits looted 8 houses and fled away after collecting cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 7.8 million at gunpoint. On the same day bandits looted the residence of an army officer in Mughalpura and took way cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 5 million. On December 13, dacoits forced their entry in 10 houses situated in different parts of the City and escaped after snatching cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 7.7 million. On December 14, robbers gunned down a man in front of his wife on offering resistance during armed robbery in Barki area. The bandits struck 9 houses located in different parts of the City and fled away after collecting cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 6.1 million. On December 15, dacoits looted another 9 houses and took away cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 7 million after holding the inmates hostage at gunpoint. Not enough on December 16, armed bandits stormed into 7 different houses and took away cash, gold ornaments and other valuables worth Rs 5 million. Believe it or not, the incidents of kidnapping for ransom have shoot up by 200 per cent only in the Punjab Capital during this year if compared with corresponding period of 2009. Ironically, no less than 20 persons including leading businessmen, traders and some officials secured their release after paying heavy amount as ransom to the gangsters during this period while the police badly failed to trace the abductors so far. Last week, kidnappers killed a 26-year-old USA-returned youth by setting him on fire after the victim family failed to pay them Rs 10 million as ransom. He was found burnt to death from Sabzazar area. The police are investigating. This year, dacoits also killed 55 people on offering resistance during armed robberies in different parts of the City. Such a high crime rate and bad police performance is enough to map the good governance of the provincial government.