Police corruption and abuse fuel crime rate in Pakistan

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Eurasia Media Network Exclusive Report:

The twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have witnessed a sharp increase in crime rate in recent months, with mobile snatching and ATM thefts on gunpoint becoming common occurrences. The police of the two cities have terribly failed to curb the criminal cartels that operate with impunity and terrorize the citizens.

The Pakistani police have a notorious rapport backed on such kinds of criminal gangs and cartels that operate under their nose.

According to the Police Corruption Perceptions Index, Pakistan is on 13th among the world top corrupt policing in the world. Pakistan police scored very low on all these dimensions, indicating poor performance and a low level of public trust.

The foreigners and the tourists are strongly advised by the tour operators and their country’s concerned authorities to be extra vigilant and cautioned while traveling and especially while moving across the cities in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and other parts of the country.

Israr Ahmed Rajpoot, senior crime and court reporter associated with a leading English daily in Pakistan said: “Well, the recent surge in street crimes in twin cities is just horrible as gangs of armed robbers and dacoits are looting spree with no prompt action on part of police and other law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, the police is not seen as interested in the reduction of crimes.”

In recent weeks, victims were deprived of cash, jewelry, mobile phones, and other valuables. Many of the crimes took place in broad daylight and in busy areas where the lapse of security is beyond any police justification.

The police have been unable to arrest the culprits or recover the stolen items. The lack of CCTV cameras, forensic facilities, and coordination among different police stations has hampered the investigation process. The citizens have expressed their frustration and anger over the poor performance and negligence of the police.

Though Islamabad has been a self-claimed safe city by installing hundreds of security cameras the outcome of the arrest of criminals is very less, as compared to the reporting of the crime incidents.

However, Rajpoot says, “To some extent, it can be negligence of officers concerned but the main reason behind police failure in overwhelming crimes is lack of resources.”

Mobile snatching is one of the top listed crimes in twin cities where the police have no words except superficial claims.

The rise in crime rate has also been attributed to the socio-economic impact, which has increased unemployment, poverty, and desperation among many people.

Some experts have also pointed out the role of cybercrime, which has increased by 83% in the past three years in Pakistan. Cybercriminals use various methods to hack into bank accounts, mobile wallets, and online platforms and steal money or personal information.

The authorities have been urged to take urgent measures to improve the law and order situation in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and ensure the safety and security of the residents.

The police have been highly politicized in Pakistan and used for political victimization as major state machinery to apprehend opponents. The citizen and civil society activists demand the end of police being used as a state tool and to focus on the real mission of people’s security and protection.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, the police are one of the most widely feared, complained against, and least trusted government institutions in Pakistan, lacking a clear system of accountability and plagued by corruption at the highest levels. The report documents cases of police custodial torture, extrajudicial executions, and other serious human rights violations. It also details the difficulties that victims of crime and police abuse face in obtaining justice, including the refusal by police to register complaints, their demands for bribes, and biased investigations.


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