670 Murder FIRs Registered in 60 Districts During December 2010

ISLAMABAD, March 8, 2011:  A total of 23,439 First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered with the police in 67 districts monitored by the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) during the month of December 2010. Of the total registered crimes, 1,422 cases (6%) pertained to murder and attempted murder, according to FAFEN’s monthly Pakistan Crime Monitor, the first report of which was released here Tuesday.

Trained FAFEN Governance Monitors collected the compiled figures of First Information Reports (FIR) registered under various crimes from offices of District Police Officers (DPOs) in 67 districts- 27 districts in Punjab, 20 districts in KP, 15 districts in Sindh, four districts in Balochistan and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

Pakistan Crime Monitor is part of FAFEN’s ongoing governance monitoring. Law and order has a direct relationship with socio-political stability, which is essential for sustained economic growth and prosperity. The monthly crime monitor is an effort to bring forth objective data about the crimes reported around the country, which can be used as a proxy indicator for the state of law enforcement in the country.

The crime of murder was reported in 60 districts of the country. A total of 670 murder FIRs were registered in the monitored districts, out of which 119 (18%) were reported in Karachi district only.

Approximately 15% of the FIRs recorded by police during December 2010 were of crimes involving physical harm to persons, including murder, attempted murder, involuntary manslaughter (unintentional killing), hurt (injury), illegal confinement and terrorism-related incidents.  If crimes against women are included in the category of crimes involving physical harm to persons, then this category represents 18% of all registered crimes.  About one-fourth (26%) of the total recorded cases were crimes pertaining to property, such as theft (including motor vehicle theft), extortion, criminal trespass, criminal misappropriation of property, robbery (theft or extortion involving harm to a person, including motor vehicle robbery), and dacoity (robbery involving conspiracy among five or more people).

Approximately 10% of the registered cases across the country were related to threat and fraud crimes, including acts of criminal intimidation, offences against public tranquility, counterfeiting of currency notes, cheating, criminal breach of trust, and fraudulent deeds and dispossession of property. Around three percent of the total recorded cases were of crimes against women, which included offences referred to as “honor killing,” kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her to marry, rape, assault or criminal force to a woman, offences relating to marriage, and word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.  Almost half (46%) of the total 23,439 registered FIRs were regarding minor crimes categorized as ‘other crimes’ in the official record.

FAFEN Monitors received highest degree of cooperation in Punjab where 27 DPO offices shared the requested information. Approximately 78% of the total registered crimes occurred in Punjab, 11% in Sindh and 10% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).  Approximately 1% of crimes were registered in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and 0.2% of crimes were registered in the monitored districts of Balochistan. On an average, each monitored district in Punjab registered 681 crimes during the reporting month against 173, 113 and 12 crimes in each district of Sindh, KP and Balochistan, respectively.

Factors relevant to the high rate of registration of crimes in Punjab include the high population density as well as willingness of citizens to go to the police to register crimes and police responsiveness to citizens and willingness to register FIRs. The low rate of crime reporting in regions like Balochistan and KP does not necessarily represent a low crime rate, but may indicate that police official do not record crimes brought to their attention, citizens do not bring cases to the police (potentially because of a trust deficit), and/or citizens’ reliance on parallel (traditional or community-run) conflict resolution and justice systems, such as jirgas. Another factor related to low crime statistics from Balochistan is that police jurisdiction is restricted to ‘A’ areas in parts of the province, which are normally cities and suburbs, whereas Levies control ‘B’ areas in the countryside.

Punjab has a significantly higher rate of crime reporting if compared with other regions. Almost three-fourths (73%) of the total crimes against women were reported in Punjab, 16% in Sindh, 10% in KP and 1% each in Balochistan and ICT.  With regard to crimes involving physical harm to persons, more than half (57%) were registered in Punjab, while 21% of physical harm crimes were registered in Sindh and in KP, 1% in ICT and 0.2% in Balochistan. Similarly, more than four-fifths (84%) of the total registered crimes regarding property were reported in Punjab, 12% in Sindh, 3% in KP, 1% in ICT and 0.1% in Balochistan. In threat and fraud cases, nearly 87% cases were reported in Punjab, followed by 10% in Sindh and 3% in KP. Only one such incident was reported to police in Balochistan, and none were reported in ICT.

Among the five cities with the highest rates of registered crimes, four of these cities are in Punjab province.  The district of Lahore (Punjab) tops the list of five districts with the highest crime reporting rate compared to other monitored districts during the month of December 2010. More than one-fifths (21%) of the total registered crimes across the country occurred in Lahore district. The district of Faisalabad, the second largest metropolis of Punjab province, was second in terms of crime reporting, with 12% of the total registered crimes from 67 monitored districts. Karachi (Sindh) was ranked third with regard to crime reporting, with 6% of the total registered crimes during the observed month. The Punjab’s districts of Sargodha and Multan were fourth and fifth in terms of registration of FIRs.

Karachi reported more cases of crimes ensuing physical harm to persons including murder and attempted murder, while Lahore registered more cases of crimes pertaining to property, threat and fraud crimes, and minor crimes. The highest number of crimes against women (91 crimes) was reported from the district of Faisalabad, but police officials in Karachi, Jhang, and ICT did not provide this information for comparison.  Murder and attempted murder along with hurt (injury) were the most widespread crimes reported from most districts. The majority of incidents of terrorism (64%) were reported in four districts of KP, but Jhang and ICT police officials did not provide comparative data.

In general, police officials cooperated with FAFEN Monitors in terms of making official records available, but there were problems of transparency in four districts where police administration declined to provide information to FAFEN Monitors regarding certain crimes, and especially crimes against women.  Officials of Jhang district (Punjab) declined to provide information regarding 13 crimes, including crimes against women, cases of terrorism, criminal intimidation and illegal confinement. Similarly, no information was made available to FAFEN Monitors regarding most crimes against women in the district of Karachi.  Information regarding crimes of criminal trespass was not shared with FAFEN Monitors in Matiari (Sindh), and ICT police did not share information on 18 different crimes, including some crimes against women, cases referred to anti-terrorism courts, involuntary manslaughter, criminal intimidation, illegal confinement and criminal misappropriation of property.

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