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KARACHI (Geo News) Due to reports of unabated street crimes in the metropolis, Police has announced a grand operation with the assistance of paramilitary against street criminals on Monday. Police

Police chief Mushtaq Maher said that there is a strong nexus of street criminals with drug mafia which is not easy to break.

"Two years back it was terrorism which was the biggest source of concern for media, civil society and NGOs, today it has been replaced by street crimes,” Maher said. “Though there has not been an evident change in the graph of street crime from last two years. But now our complete focus will be on it.”

He added that after thorough investigation with the arrested suspects, it was known that in the long run eventually there is a connection between street criminals and drug mafia.

Maher said that it is difficult to arrest the mobile snatcher because they tend to corrupt the IMEI number of stolen phones immediately after snatching, he informed that there is an ongoing discussions going on between Police and telecom industry to introduce a system which traces mobile even on a corrupt IMEI. 

The menace of street crime continues to plague the metropolis even after years of an ongoing operation to curb crime in the city was launched. 

According to statistical data on various crimes reported in Karachi, maintained by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), over one thousand mobile phones were snatched in any given month with the highest in January 2016 when nearly 1,600 mobile phones were snatched. Similarly, over 1,400 mobile phones were stolen in any given month of 2016. 

According to sources there are certain hotspots where street crime continues unabated, they include areas between Golimar and New Karachi, Liquatabad to Yousuf Plaza, Kala Pul to Korangi and Defence Library, Gulshan-e-Iqbal (Sabzi Mandi) to Malir Cantonment.

Vehicles and Motorbikes
According to the CPLC data, till the 15th of December 14,974 people were deprived of their mobile phones at gunpoint while 17,790 mobile phones were stolen. On average about 15 vehicles were snatched per month with the highest in November when 23 vehicles were reported snatched. The year also saw nearly 1,500 cars stolen, 2,342 motorbikes were snatched while 21,028 motorbikes were stolen. 

Kidnappings and Extortion
Before the operation in Karachi, the menace of kidnappings for ransom, short-term kidnappings and extortion was running rampant. While the frequency of kidnappings has gone down sharply with only 20 kidnappings reported during 2016, the number of extortion cases reported stood at over 100 with the highest number of cases reported in August. 

Bank Robberies/Dacoity
During 2016, 12 bank robberies and dacoities were reported. However interestingly ten of these were reported in the first four months of 2016 with only 2 reported in the remaining eight months.

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