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Police plans ‘systematic’ crackdown on crime amid lingering woes

Seyed Seddiq Hussainy

KABUL: Kabul police has begun a systematic and vigorous crackdown against criminals, introducing new unprecedented measures aimed at driving down spiraling crime in Kabul city.

The new approach focuses more vigilance on the streets, increases the use of stop and search and incarcerates more offenders and criminals. Over the past weeks alone, we have arrested 800 criminal offenders, said Tareq Arian, spokesman to the Ministry of Interior.

He said the police have begun a more vigorous combat against criminal networks in Kabul city to address the growing concerns about the steep increase in violent crime.

“We stepped up our vigilance and security measures in 5th PD, an effort that reduced crime substantially,” he said, vowing that the same anti-crime paradigm will be implemented for all districts of Kabul city.

He said the police has arrested more than 11,000 people on criminal charges over the past six months. “Many of them are teenagers and young adults,” he said. “That rings a bell. There are many factors that contribute to the rise of crime including poverty, illiteracy and social complications which are exacerbated by an overpopulated city of Kabul,” said Tareq Aryan.

Aryan said the police are working on a more systematic strategy to reign in crime. “We are working on a deal with mobile salesmen union to ban the sale of stolen cell phones. It will now be legally binding on all salesmen to provide proof of legality of mobile phones and report undocumented and suspicious ones,” he said.

“We are also stepping up vigilance against stolen cars. We will ban the purchase and sale of undocumented and stolen cars across Kabul city,” he said. There is another plan to ban the sale and use of fireworks which have caused nuisance in Kabul city, he said.

The police will also ban the sale of unregistered sim cards in cooperation with telecom companies to curb illegal activities and keep offences on a leash, he said.

This comes amid a huge uptick in criminal offences including thefts and robberies in Kabul. Kabul citizens complain that offenses have increased because the police evade their responsibilities to fight crime.

Amid a worsening security situation, some believe administrative shortcomings within the police force have taken criminal activities out of police control. Lack of committed and experienced cadres had led to an increase in criminal activity. Some accuse high-ranking individuals, even among the police, of supporting thieves, which per se aggravate criminal offenses.

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