Extortion Cases Proliferate 15% upsurge in Motor Vehicle Lifting

Extortion cases sharply increased 16 times during October (427 FIRs; 8 districts) as compared to September (25; 8). Sindh’s four districts contributed 80% share while Karachi East (305) and Sheikhupura (59) stood as the highest reporting districts. FAFEN Crime Monitors, who visited 91 offices of District Police Officers, also reported an overall 6% growth in crimes relating to property.

Motor vehicle lifting cases went up 15% from 34 FIRs per district to 39 during the monitored period with Lahore (693) as the highest reporting district, followed by Faisalabad (240). Besides, robbery and dacoity incidents saw 4% rise, incidents involving criminal trespass increased by 3% whereas motor vehicle snatchings (16 per district) remained unchanged.

Conversely, however, cases related to criminal misappropriation of property fell 16% while reported cases of theft decreased by 9%. Furthermore, there was a 3% increase in total FIRs during October –41,537 FIRs were registered in 91 districts while the previous months’ figure was 40,461 FIRs in 92 districts.

Other crimes constituted 61% of the total registered cases, followed by crimes relating to property (20%), crimes involving physical harm to people (10%), threat and fraud (8%) and crimes against women (2%). Region-wise, Punjab contributed 63% of the total crime burden, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (23%), Sindh (12%), Balochistan (2%) and Islamabad Capital Territory (159 FIRs). Better outreach, lack of parallel judicial system and a higher confidence level between the police and the people are said to be the reasons for better crime reportage in Punjab than other regions. Category-wise, crimes involving physical harm fell 6% while crimes relating to property rose 6% along with other crimes (increase of 5%).

On the other hand, crimes relating to property, threat and fraud remained constant. Except for accidental deaths (qatl-bis-sabab), that went up from three cases per districts to five, all other crimes involving physical harm to people either declined or remained unchanged. Those crimes that fell by 8% included hurt (22 cases per district) and murder (11).

Those registering no change included accidental deaths (qatl-i-khata; 4 FIRs per district), illegal confinement (3) and terrorism-related incidents (4). In the threat and fraud category, public tranquility offences, criminal breaches of trust and counterfeiting currency increased by 65%, 13% and 9% respectively. Conversely, fraudulent deeds and dispossession of property cases dropped 67%, while criminal intimidation and cheating also decreased by 31% and 7% respectively. In the ‘crimes against women’ category, incidents of outraging women’s modesty through word or gesture increased 13 times – one district, Mardan, reporting 41 cases as against the previous month’s 10 cases reported in three districts. Moreover, the number of offenses related to marriage increased by 10%, with Faisalabad (37) and Multan (19) registering the highest number of such FIRs.

Other crimes in the category either dropped or remained unchanged in number. Only 10 districts reported up to almost half (47%) of the total crime burden. These included nine districts in Punjab and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Lahore (14%), Faisalabad (8%) and Peshawar (5%) were among the top reporting districts