The year 2006 witnessed an unprecedented 60 per cent rise in the incidents of cellphone snatching/theft compared with the preceding year, DAWN reports.
An analysis of the official data compiled by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and obtained by Dawn reveals that on an average 124 mobile phones are snatched/stolen every day. In the preceding year, the figure had stood at 76.
The statistics recorded last year show that a total of 27,764 cellphones had been taken away by bandits or thieves whereas in the period January 1-December 22, 2006, the figure has already reached at 44,388.
A town-wise break-up of the current year’s statistics places Gulshan on top of the 18 towns of Karachi district as 2,811 cellphones have so far been stolen or snatched at gunpoint in this town alone. Saddar, Jamshed, North Nazimabad, Gulberg, New Karachi and Clifton towns follow suit in the list.
In the previous year, cellphone theft or robbery figure in Gulshan had stood at 2,119, followed by Saddar, Clifton, Jamshed, New Karachi, Liaquatabad and Gulberg towns. Under the head of cellphone theft, the data shows Saddar Town on top of the list with 4,163 sets reported stolen during the same period of 2006, followed by Gulshan, Clifton, Jamshed, Landhi, Liaquatabad and Shah Faisal towns. Under the same head in the figures pertaining to 2005, the town on top of the list was Gulshan with 2,675 being the number of stolen cellphones. It was followed by Saddar, Clifton, Jamshed, New Karachi, Liaquatabad and Gulberg towns.
It may be pertinent to mention here that despite carrying all the intricacies, the official statistics do not show the number of cellphone-holders having been killed while offering resistance to the phone snatchers.
The growing trend of cellphone snatching and theft in Karachi reflects the failure of the police in containing the crime as in spite of the IMEI mechanism having been activated to get the handsets jammed by the concerned cellular companies, there has been a little or no improvement in the overall situation.
More painful is the fact that these statistics are based only on the cases reported to police but the quantum of unreported incidents is anybody’s guess.
With this alarming growth in crime rate, Karachities wonder what the law enforcement agencies are doing to curb crime and who is there to take the full blame of failure? A poll on Chowrangi showed people hold government and administration (police, city, provincial and federal government) responsible for the crime situation in the metropolis.