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Police reluctant to register vehicle theft cases

RAWALPINDI (Web Desk) Non-registration of first information reports (FIRs) by police has been a chronic problem. Contrary to the claims made by the Punjab government and the provincial police chief, 725 citizens could not get FIRs registered against the theft of their vehicles so far this year, according to a police document available with Dawn.Of the 1,210 vehicles stolen or snatched at gunpoint since January 2017, owners of only 485 could get the FIRs registered.

The police had earlier introduced front desks to facilitate the complainants and are now planning to set up Khidmat Markaz in different districts.When contacted, Nayab Haider, a spokesperson for the inspector general of the Punjab police, said the objective of the front desks and Khidmat Markaz was to resolve public complaints and help the citizens in getting driving licences and character certificates. He said all documentation would be completed in one centre and sent digitally to the Khidmat Markaz concerned for delivery through couriers.

The establishment of the Khidmat Markaz could be another game changer in service delivery by the Punjab police,” he claimed.But many citizens wondered why the police were reluctant to register vehicle theft FIRs even after establishing the front desks.According to police sources, the 1,210 vehicles stolen in the district from January to August included 513 cars and 697 motorcycles.Of the total vehicles stolen, cases of only 485 were registered by,The police while owners of 305 cars and 421 motorcycles could not get the FIRs registered.

The police registered FIRs of only 208 stolen cars and 276 motorcycles. In January, 73 cars and 75 motorcycles were stolen while in February the number was 63 cars and 71 motorcycles, in March 37 cars and 73 motorcycles and in April 50 cars and 63 motorcycles.Thieves took away 78 cars and 110 motorcycles in May, 92 cars and 112 motorcycles in June and 62 cars and 89 motorcycles in July. In August, the citizens lost 58 cars and 103 motorcycles.

When a senior police officer was asked why the police were reluctant to register FIRs of vehicle thefts, he told Dawn on condition of anonymity that since some of the vehicles were insured and leased from commercial banks, the victims expected the police to promptly register their FIRs so that they could get compensation from the leasing companies.On the other hand,

The police always seem reluctant to register the cases because the increase in the number of theft cases affects its performance.He said sometimes people who had taken cars on lease and could not pay back the installments also try to lodge bogus FIRs to get rid of the payments. After getting the FIRs registered they submit claims and get their money back which they had already deposited with the leasing company,he added.

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