Street crimes have unfortunately become a regular feature of all big cities of Pakistan especially Karachi. Armed robbery, assault and mugging have become a common feature of metropolitan life in Pakistan. These criminals come well armed and well prepared to commit the crimes by overpowering their victims with fear and weapons. As a result the victims, which are generally white color citizens, are deprived of their hard earned money and valuables.
There are many questions associated with rise in street crimes in Pakistan. Why are crime rates so high in congested and relatively poor areas of the city? Why are the young, poor and able-bodied individuals involved in such crimes? Why only small and medium size businesses and houses become the target of these crimes? Why haven’t law enforcement agencies made any progress in reducing these crimes?
Social researchers conclude that high rates of crime among the young and poor are due to culture of poverty prevailing in their neighborhood. As per these researchers, young residents of relatively poor areas within metropolitan often lack the basic necessities of life and develop values that imply violence as effective means of attaining these items. This trend spreads fast within these communities and poor youth, that generally lacks job opportunities, becomes involved in these crimes to make both ends meet.
Moving on to the targets of these crimes, mostly small and medium size businesses are targeted due to lack of adequate security measures adopted by these business and individuals. These criminals are less likely to face any close circuit camera system, armed guards or alarm system in small and medium size locations. These victims are also less likely to report a crime to police in order to avoid lengthy and undue involvement by police in their affairs. Similarly individual moving on foot in small streets are often target of mugging and mobile phone snatching due to less chances of resistance by these individuals.
The last question about action by law enforcement agencies against these crimes is more complex in nature. Often due to small and petty nature of these crime, involving snatching of mobile phones, credit cards and other valuables, people choose not to report these crimes to Police. Lengthy procedures involved for registration of complaint at Police stations are also one of the reasons cited by the victims. Involvement of some individuals from within the Police department to aid criminals has also been sighted as for the free run being enjoyed by these criminals.
Despite all the prevention schemes, street crimes are fast becoming a major concern for citizens of Karachi and other big cities. The solution lies not only in stern action against these criminals but also in educating the youth against these crimes and providing them with adequate social status and job opportunities.