North Nazimabad: A hub of street crime

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Fire can burn you, and fire can heat your house.
Knives can be used to murder, or to cook and prepare food.
Water can drown you, but also you need it to live.
Similarly, people are capable of both good and bad deeds, just like fire, water and knives. Pure goodness or pure evil is not inherent in our nature; rather, it is our choice that determines whether we contribute to harm or benefit. Analyzing the ratio of street crime, it shows that the human being chooses the evil side to satisfy his needs and starts committing crime.
North Nazimabad, the city of Karachi (12th largest city of the world) despite being the city’s oldest area, facing significant challenges related to street crime, which is causing distress in human behavior. The discussion of the contemporary Sindh cabinet reported by media from official sources highlighted that 16,000 street crimes were reported in Karachi since January 2024. Current Home Minister Zia Ul Hassan Lanjar and IGP Riffat Mukhtar noted that 7,822 cases of street crime in the city were recorded in January 2024 and 5,876 in February and 2,234 in March (till 12th of March). The question arises why human beings are committing crimes? Which factors are influencing them to commit crime?
Police Chief Ghulam Nabi Memon blamed drug addiction and unemployment for the spike in street crimes and said that police have accepted the challenge to tackle this problem. Are the statements enough to tackle the problem? Well, in addition to drug addiction and unemployment, several other factors are also contributing factors such as inflation, lack of effective policing, insufficient manpower, and easy access to illegal arms.
For instance, a well-known senior producer of Samaa TV Athar Mateen was killed in North Nazimabad on February 18, 2022, 8:29 am. As per the police statements and FIR, the incident took place during the robbery. Even a well-known person who was the voice of common people is not safe in this city; how can we expect that the common people will be safe there.
Lack of effective policing and insufficient manpower is also a primary challenge in addressing street crime. It has been brought to the light that only 12,000 law enforcers are currently deployed at the city`s 108 police stations, out of a total strength of 48,000. Furthermore, 25000 vacant posts of policeman in the province highlight a significant gap in the force. Doubling the number of law enforcers to 24,000 would significantly help improve the police`s ability to maintain law and order.
Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah blamed the deteriorating economic conditions for the street crime. He has shown concerns over the growing number of armed muggings and killings. However, there are several other reasons for street crime but innocent people are being killed without any reason, a fruit seller, photographer, women and many more examples. Sometimes a person who got killed might be the only breadwinner of his family and that clearly means the criminal killed his/her whole family.
How long will the people of Karachi have to face this? Various law enforcement agencies such as Sindh Police and Rangers are present there to maintain law and order. Despite being deployed by agencies and local administration, innocent people are losing their lives every day. In addition to that the people are facing economic loss, an environment full of fear and insecurity. The most important impact is the emotional impact on people and can be devastating both for those who are harmed and for their family and friends. Resultantly, this badly damages the self-worth of the victim. Do innocent people deserve this? I believe not at all.
In a nutshell, the contemporary system has failed to efficiently manage the issue at hand. Rather than just highlighting the events and throwing out the statements, there is a dire need to take deliberate measures with complete sincerity to curb this issue. Although the Chief Minister has recently approved nearly six billion rupees for the safe city project for citizens of Karachi, the enacted policies to maintain law and order must have an implementation plan with set deadlines.
In addition, the government ought to include North Nazimabad in this project on emergency measures. Otherwise, the situation will get deteriorated and the writ of the government will get weaker with each passing day. Moreover, the already existing community policing initiatives must be strengthened for the sake of safety and a peaceful environment. As already established, Karachi is the business hub and largest contributor in the economy; and the economy cannot grow in the absence of peace and human safety.