Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Kabul Streets: the Kingdom of Social Criminals

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Kabul Streets: the Kingdom of  Social Criminals

As result of long war and rising poverty, the phenomena of social crimes have increased in all large cities of Afghanistan, but the Kabul is considered as the Kingdom of social Criminals according some citizens. Given the fact that Kabul is the center of political and economic decision making, it is expected to be one of the secure provinces in the country but no one feel secure in this city. Almost every day, there are reports and complains about social crimes including looting residential houses, killing students in Kabul streets and kidnapping traders in the work place. Two days ago, Ali Sina, a highly talented student of American University of Afghanistan, was killed while coming home. He was killed when he had resisted against robbers who tried taking his laptop and other property. A similar event happened yesterday, in Dehboori area of Kabul when three motorcycle riders shot a man on his chest while robbing his mobile.
As according to a report quoted from MoI officials, 2632 criminal cases have been recorded within one last year which includes: 523 deaths, 638 injuries, 26 kidnaps, 937 thefts and the rest reported as miscellaneous.   Based on a separate report, nearly 70 robbery events recorded in last two weeks and so nearly 103 people been arrested. As a result of these successive cases, some of the top officials including Uleama council, COE and parliament reacted against the issue. Some of the PM says a large number of complains stormed to the parliament from different area of Kabul city; the Ulema council also invited a number of PM asking to take immediate action against the issue; Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also called the security forces to pay serious attention on the social complaints.
According to citizens, the social crimes are more dangerous than terrorists and air-pollution as it kills at least 18 people per day in each of the18 districts of Kabul. Despite these many crimes which are happening everyday and everywhere, MoI reports indicate that the level of crimes 40% decreased; according to public opinion, these kinds of expression and reports are ridiculous. They blame the police officials for being behind the social crimes and so a number of face-book users launched face-book campaign saying “Kabul is not secure”. In fact, the organized groups of criminals have badly challenged the police ability and Kabul security system. The current increasing poverty, air-pollution, terrorism, and now social crimes have hardly pressurized people in Kabul city.
However, social offences have a long history in human life and considered as an inevitable phenomenon in human life. The human history has recorded numerous crimes and catastrophes in its memory. The Criminal offenses can directly threaten social security while the social security is one of the main philosophies for existence of the political system to protect members of a society against any threatening factors. When citizens do not feel secure at his home, at his work or on the street then the philosophy of the security system is questioned and so the distance between citizens and political system may also increase.
According to social experts, the first and most important factor of social crimes is poverty. Initially, poverty may compel a sinless individual to commit social offences while it is against his natural will and conscience, but gradually it can become a part of his personality and alter to a professional criminal. In context of Afghanistan, from one hand accessing to weapons is easily possible through black market, and on the other hand poverty compels them to take such an action. In many advanced countries, either government are deemed accountable against people to provide them jobs or provide the minimum social welfare under name of social security allowance to unemployed and weak people.
Anyway, the social crimes seem as serious issue in Afghanistan which hardly pressurized the innocent people. If the government does not take immediate action, it will have very unpleasant consequences for the government and overall people of Afghanistan.  Given the conflict contexts, the enemy of Afghanistan will try to attract cheap and unsatisfied social forces to sabotage the social tranquility. In addition to the political effects on the lives of the people, the social crimes will also have a negative impact on the country’s economy. With everyday Killing and kidnapping, the traders and investors will be compelled to leave the country. So, economical consequences will not only be capital flight but also brain drain from the country.
In order to prevent the social crimes, there are two types of methods: penalizing strategy and non-penalizing strategy. In third world countries, whatever action may be used to reduce the crime but experts believe that only punishment strategy will not work and so we need to root out the real factor.  Meanwhile, all preventive strategies are focused to reduce the crimes not reach to zero level as it is too difficult or impossible. Therefore, crime is an inevitable phenomenon of social organization we should use proper strategies to reduce crime, not fully eliminate it. However, reaching to this point is a distant dream to the war-torn countries like Afghanistan.
According to criminological theories, we need to use certain indicators to assess the success of crime preventive programs. One of the most important indicators is the criminological capacity and this can be used as a tool in the hands of forensic researchers to shows the degree of success of programs and allows them to determine to what extent they have been successful in implementing programs. The capacity is determined by figures at a specific time and location. But this is done under certain conditions to determine which crime in that specific area is above or below than normal level.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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