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Sunday Aug 12 2018

Karachi's new police chief on a mission to eradicate street crime

KARACHI: The new police chief for the country's industrial hub assured citizens Saturday night of a complete and exhaustive crackdown against street crime.

Addressing his first press briefing, Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh — who has replaced Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar on the orders of Amjad Javed Saleemi, the inspector-general of police (IGP) for Sindh — provided a contact number for people to register their complaints via WhatsApp.

Noting that street crime is one of the biggest challenges in Karachi, Dr Shaikh said the number — +92 343 5142770 — can be used by anyone who gets mugged on the road or has experienced a robbery, or even when a police officer needlessly harasses them.

"Citizens will not have to search for police to have their complaints filed," the new chief stressed. Police would not wait for a street crime to actually take place but will nab the criminal elements prior to whatever they plan to do, he added.

Due to incomplete prosecutions, most of the suspected street criminals who are arrested by police manage to walk free on bail, Dr Shaikh said, adding that every day, "more than 150 suspects" involved in street crimes are apprehended.

It was in this regard that he said he wishes "to improve this system of prosecution and create such a strong case against the arrested suspects that they get punished as per the law".

Further, acknowledging that citizens were upset with the police, whether it be a delay in response to complaints or unnecessary harassment, Dr Shaikh revealed that a help desk was being set up for citizens' grievances.

"We will try our best to get in touch with the victims instead of them reaching out to us," he said.

Moreover, "police officers involved in leading or facilitating land-grabbing mafia or organised crime will be dealt with effectively".


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