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Tuesday, November 14, 2017 10:49:04 PM
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Curbing early morning mugging

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RELAXED security measures especially early in the morning have left Dhaka city residents and visitors insecure as organised criminal gangs prowl the city mostly that time. Incidents of robbery and mugging often take place in the early morning in varying styles and many of such incidents remain unreported and happen out of sight of common people when presence of police also not enough around.

A number of victims said they did not approach respective police station fearing further harassment. Of the reported incidents, police investigators allegedly take too much time to complete investigations, as per reports of a local daily. And question remains who committed the mugging; their identity remain unknown.

Out of fear, many people who reach Dhaka in the early hours from other districts or after an overnight journey have to wait until sunrise, when movement of people on the roads increases. Many victims and city dwellers alleged that usually police members on duty neglect their duty in the early morning and often they either sleep or leave their posts and muggers used to benefit from the negligence of the cops.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police officials also identified early morning, especially between 3:00am and 7:00am, as the most vulnerable time for crime. They, however, claimed that they have developed a mechanism to monitor the activities of the cops on duty in those hours. The Metropolitan Police have no crime analysis on how many of the robbery and mugging take place in the early morning but the officials said lean period or darkness helped robbers or muggers to commit crimes.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) headquarters statistics showed that they had arrested 4,745 suspected robbers including 288 with bullet injuries, in 2,295 operations across the country between 2004 and October 2017. Its Assistant Director for Legal and Media Wing estimated that more than half of the cases were reported in the city.

The Metropolitan Police have no statistics on the number of robbers prosecuted in recent years. Only 72 cases of robbery were recorded with various police stations in the first nine months of  2017.
Number of reported incidents of robberies only increased in 2016, according to Dhaka metropolitan Police Media and Public Relations Centre. Of those cases, 289 are still under investigation.

It is very easy to control mugging in the early hours -- we need to have a strong police presence or a dedicated force to combat it. If we can have a tourist police which regularly patrols Banani, Gulshan and Baridhara for foreigners then why not one for our citizens -- who are paying the tax money for their existence? It should not be too much trouble to set up a night watch force to patrol the wee hours of the morning. The administration should give priority to our citizens whose tax monies go towards the funds which maintain the forces in the first place.

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