Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, May 30th, 2020

Citizens Concerned about Rising Crime

There  

 is almost no one who has not fallen victim to street crime in large cities, mainly in Kabul. The crime rate has increased to a great extent in Kabul City and citizens fear being mugged while walking on the streets in broad daylight. The criminal activities in Kabul include theft, robbery, burglary, mugging, and murder.
A number of people are mugged in Kabul streets on day-to-day basis and the muggers escape easily. Many of the criminals carry pistols and knives and simply hurt their victims who resist against them. Some victims are reported dead and wounded while resisting to keep their properties. Snatching mobile phones and women’s purses is very common on the streets. For example, few months back, my sister and I were walking in a busy street of Kabul, two motorcyclists snatched her purse while passing us. We could do nothing. 
Darkness in streets, as a result of lack of electric power, has made people more vulnerable to street crimes and mugging. Criminals extort citizens’ money and properties at gunpoint in dark streets.
Kabul streets are filled with fear in the wake of criminal activities and citizens have no mental piece. Ugly reports about robbery and mugging compound the public anxiety and fill the air with more worries and chagrin.
It is believed that the increasing rate of unemployment is one of the main factors behind the criminal activities in large cities. On the one hand, a large number of Afghan youths are unemployed, on the other hand, the expanses are very high and there is no control on market price. The two issues contribute to the rise of criminal activities.
Apart from criminal activities in large cities, Kabul streets are bursting with male and female beggars who are trembling from dawn to dusk to survive starvation and cold weather with charity. A number of children sit in humid streets and implore the passersby to hand them a penny. It suggests the poor conditions of people’s life. Now that you are reading this article, a large number of people suffer from starvation and cold weather in every nook and cranny of Kabul city, to not mention other parts of the country. At the very moment, scores of widows are moaning in Kabul downtown and streets so that a passerby will sympathize them by giving a small penny.
Meanwhile, a number of children are involved in backbreaking labors to make the ends meet. The poverty rate seems to be rising with the unemployment.
Worst of all, citizens believe that some policemen have hand in glove with the criminals since they are not very serious in crime prevention. It goes without saying that corruption is still prevalent in the country and some policemen are most likely to release the criminals after taking bribe. That is, the high corruption rate slows down implementation of law. If law is not implemented, the graph of street crime will rise. In short, corruption and lack of law enforcement are conducive to rising crime.
The government has to prevent crime through mitigating corruption within its machinery and punish those government staff and police officers who are involved in corruption. Officials have to think of a better strategy to curb the corruption so that it could lead to the prevention of street crime. If law-enforcers are engaged in corruption, who will be there to prevent the crime? This is one of the main concerns of the citizens.
Enforcing law is effective but will not be the only solution to the problem. In addition to tracking the criminals and treating them strictly on the basis of law, the government has to create job for the citizens and improve the standard of living. In other words, if the government does not adopt a project for alleviating poverty, mitigating crime will be highly difficult. Thus, to deal with the root of criminal activities, the government needs to reduce poverty.
Moreover, the government needs to invest on electric power and install more lights on the streets to reduce the crime rate.
What is more, the government has to increase the salary of police officers, perhaps through collecting the taxes of mobile phone’s credit cards, to reduce corruption within the police ranks.
Officials have to pay serious attention to the public concern through curbing the rising crime. Criminals have to be prosecuted and those who are behind them to run groups for organized crime have to be recognized and punished. If the crime is not mitigated, mistrust between citizens and officials will grow and people will react strongly against the government’s inattention to the crime and corruption.