During the period between January-March 2020, there was a 200 per cent increase in crime against women, shows the statistics collected by Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) in its report titled: ‘Tracking Crimes against Humans in Pakistan’. August 26, 2020 newspapers highlighted the harrowing tale of a women lawyer adducted and abused in Okara (Punjab) by a group of influential people. She was held in captivity for several days. Unfortunately, this hashappened in an Islamic republic which the government wants to transform into Riasat -e- Medina. In the Punjab alone, there were 447,866 crimes were committed in 2019 as compared to 408,064 in 2018. The rape and gang rape cases rose from 3,074 in 2018 to 3,648 in 2019. However, the unreported cases may be more than that. The other provinces are no exception.
The number of child abuse and murder cases has also significantly increased. According to Sahil’s Six Month Cruel Number Report released recently, a total of 1,489 children were reportedly abusedacross Pakistan during the first half of 2020. The data indicates a 14 per centincrease in the reported cases of child abuse during the first half of 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019.
In addition to heinous crimes like murders, robberies, kidnapping and women and children’s abuse, the country was hit with cybercrimes. According to The Express Tribune dated26 August 2020, the Federal Minister for Interior informed the National Assembly that cybercrimes were on the increase during the last few years. Till January 31, 2020, there were 1,325 cases of cybercrime. On the contrary, during the last five years,the number of convictions is only 14. This means that Federal Investigating Agency (FIA) cannot cope up with the large number of cases that have to be investigated because of its limited resources or whatever reasons may be. The Federal Ombudswoman has reported 414 cases of harassment of women in the government and private offices.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have taken rapid strides resulting in cultural heterogeneity and enhancing inclination to be disrespectful towards law
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have taken rapid strides resulting in cultural heterogeneity and enhancing inclination to be disrespectful towards law. Still there are cultures where to commit crimes is considered to be mainly virtues, but these were isolated because of poor information and communication. With the information explosion, their isolation has been neutralized. This has also adulterated the traditional social order and has induced desires for quick mundane benefits. The growing unemployment, particularly among the educated youth has made significant contribution to the increasing crime rate. Sometimes back, even persons holding PhD degrees had been agitating for employment. A large number of professionals in various fields complete their studies every year but most of them are jobless.
Studies show that there are a number of causes for increasing trend in crime rate. Changes from homogeneous to heterogeneous culture because of inter-province and intra-province migrations, economic growth coupled with disparity in wealth and social inequalities, lossof cultural heritage, progress inICTs are some of the basic causes behind this trend.
In the prevailing circumstances when a large number of people isbecoming jobless and thousands coming back from foreign countries because of layoffs, crimerate is likely to increase in the coming months. With the opposition parties, the government ministers and politicians engaged in the war of words, the required amendments in the criminal laws and criminal justice have been put at the back burner. Even the existing laws are being indifferently implemented. A law that is not implemented is equal to zero.
A strong law and order system with a powerful judicial and educational infrastructure need to be in place to tackle with the changing patterns of crime.
Poor police performance to prevent crimes, the pre-crime performance and post- crime performance remains much below than what it should be. The powerful in our country hold away. Oneshudders to think of the lawlessness in on our country. However, the police are but only a part of the problem. The whole society appears to be going astray. There are organized criminal groupshaving free run. Some of these groups have the support of the influential persons. The use of state force to curb crime has neither helped nor is it likely to help in future. A unified political approach implemented by the combined force of political parties can help extricate us from this situation.
Our law courts are burdened with criminal cases and litigation. The cumulative pendency in law courts has reached enormous proportions. There are some cases which are pending in the courts for more than two decades. Our law courts are unable to cope with such a large number of cases and the superior courts continue to be occupied with political cases. Resultantly,the justice is delayed in criminalcases due to which some criminals get awaywith because of the weak evidences produced by the police.
Though a few commissions and committees have recommended police reforms, their recommendations remain mostly unimplemented.Resultantly, the police remains politicized and under the influence of the powerful. There is no effective system of police accountability. It is at slow pace of modernization, poor police welfare and low morale are unedifying image of the police.
A strong law and order systemalong with powerfuljudicial and educational infrastructures need to be in place to tackle with the changing patterns of crime.This should be done on a continuing basis. The mainstay of all such infrastructures will be the adaptability to the emerging technologies and rising trends of crimecases and to ensure speeder justice. Most importantly, we must work towards creating a society wherein the people feel themselves secure. Religious leaders, rights groups, and academic institutions can make significant contributions towards this end.
This article was originally published at: https://dailytimes.com.pk/667885/rising-trends-in-crime-and-inadequate-control-structures/
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.