According to the statistical organs, thousands of incidents of criminal offenses occur annually all over the country, and it is hard to present an inclusive and comprehensive picture from it. Kabul city is considered to be one of the relatively safe urban centers in the country, but the high statistics of crimes in this city shows different picture.
Although the security officials speak of the reduction of the level of offenses, some statistics and the ground realities indicate the high level of heinous crimes in the country in general and in major cities in particular. Besides people’s claims, the place, time and the type of some of the crimes suggest that due to a high level of corruption in the security sectors, security officials are also, somehow, involved in these crimes.
There is no precise statistics about the criminal offenses in the country because according to a survey by Asia Foundation the reports of almost half (49%) of these offenses are not documented in the government organs. Moreover, the statistics that are presented do not seem to be exact nor are they affirmed by credible independent organizations. However, according to the official statistics, the level of these crimes is increasing in the country.
Here you would read about the ascending statistics of crimes in the major cities of the country, reasons behind these offenses and solutions to reduce crimes as well as some incidents that have occurred in the past several days in Kabul city and the researchers of the Center for Strategic and Regional Studies (CSRS) have accessed to some details about it.
The higher rate of crimes in major cities
The statistics of the offenses was increasing in the past one decade in Afghanistan. The total number of crimes in 1387 (this and other years in this article are solar years) was 6786, but only in the first three-quarter of 1395, this number was 16046, which shows a remarkable increase compared to a year ago (1394). However, in some years, these crimes were unprecedentedly increased for instance only in 1392, the total number of crimes were 27122. (See Table-1 for more info)
Table-1: the statistics of crimes in Afghanistan (1387-1396)
Resource: the quarterly and annual statistics of Central Statistics Organization (1387-1396)
On the other hand, crimes are increasing in the major cities. Only in Kabul city, the number of crimes has increased from 1345 in the first quarter of 1394 to 1779 in the first quarter of 1395, and 4950 incident from the total crimes in all over Afghanistan have occurred in Kabul city. The statistics of crimes in the first three months of the current years is also high in Kabul and from a total of 5047 criminal offenses 1315 incidents were registered in Kabul.
On the other hand, heinous crimes such as murder are increasing annually. In the first quarter of 1394, 1395, and 1396 the statistics of murder have been respectively 538, 606, and 640, a yearly increase.
Heinous crimes and the armed robberies
The residents of Kabul have a bitter memory of crimes which have interrupted their lives. Recently five children from a family aging from four to sixteen years old were mysteriously killed in Wazirabad area of Kabul. The neighbors and the relatives of the family say that the victims of this incident were first killed by axes and then their bodies were burned.
CSRS has evaluated some of the incidents that have occurred in the past few days in Kabul. Mirwais a resident of Kabul who did not want to name his respective district said, “It was noon. There were only women in our neighbor’s house. Several individuals dressed in police uniforms have entered the house saying armed people were hiding in the house and then they have taken all the cash, gold and other valuable things with them. When people informed the closest security checkpoint, they did nothing.”
Dr. Faiz Mohammad who is head of a construction company in Kabul says, “At 10 am, I took some money from one of the Banks which was located in Mirwais Maidan (Kota-e-Sangi). I was driving on the street of central Silo towards the Kabul University’s street when I saw that two Hilux vehicles were following me. Since I was suspicious I changed my way and drove on the Kota-e-Sangi-Dehmazang main street but I was close to Karta-e-Chahar that they blocked my path and armed individuals dressed in the police uniform descended from the cars and some of them blocked the street and some other started beating me. When I became unconscious, they left with $54 thousand that I had taken from the bank to spend on one of my projects. I called 119 about ten times; it did not answer. Hours later they called me to take a report about the incident.”
Another source who did not want to reveal his name said to CSRS that he had seen two corpses in the daylight in Kabul city. He stated, “At 5 pm, someone was murdered and dropped in the Karta-e-Parwan on the street. The other day I saw the dead body of another individual lay on the University Street.”
Some others speak of stealing of high model cars from the safest areas in Kabul for instance; there are reports that in the nearby areas of the fifth police headquarter the owners of cars were killed or injured as a result of pistol shots by armed thieves. Most of those who spoke to CSRS about these criminal incidents have emphasized that security officials were involved in these incidents and the weak performance of the security forces may have led to such a mentality among the citizen of Kabul. However, the security officials say that these are just allegations.
The Forces behind the Crime Offenses
Corruption in the security and judicial sectors of the country is one of the main reasons behind the increasing statistics of crimes in the country. Most of the heinous crimes such as murder, abduction, armed robberies are directly carried out by mafia circles and organized groups. Nonetheless, when the members of these groups are arrested, due to the support of high-ranking officials of the government, they get released after a short time, and then they continue their activities.
On the other hand, poverty and unemployment also play a role in increasing the number of crimes. According to a joint report of the Afghan government and the World Bank, the level of poverty in the country has increased compared to the previous years, and 39.1% of the population in Afghanistan lives below the poverty line.
It is at a time that since 2014 war is continuingly increasing in the country and hundred thousands of our youth are forced out of the country for unemployment reasons.
Solutions to Reduce Criminal Offenses
Crimes cannot be uprooted from society, but with undertaking some measures, its occurrence can be reduced to minimum rates.
Since most of these crimes occur in secure areas, a mentality has grown among the public that the security officials are involved in these crimes. Therefore, the powerful people must be prevented from middling in the appointment of security officials. Moreover, steps must be held to eradicate corruption in the security and judicial sectors in the country.
The anti-crime organs must be strengthened, and besides training the employees of these organs, their salaries must increase as well so that the level of corruption could be reduced. Measures must be taken to reduce unemployment and to create job opportunities so that the youth who get involved in such crimes due to unemployment can be prevented from committing crimes. In addition, the government must take a tougher stance against crime and its perpetrators so that the inclination toward crimes could decrease. Another factor that can help the reduction of crimes in the society is to prevent the broadcasting of programs in the media that are contrary to our religion, law, and culture and these programs must be substituted by proper informative programs.