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Islamabad police have refuted US Embassy claims of a recent surge in street crimes. Image Credit: Social media

Islamabad: City police officials have disproved the US embassy’s warning to its citizens regarding the alleged recent surge in street crimes in Islamabad.

The US embassy in Islamabad warned citizens of an increase in the number of crimes in Pakistan’s capital city. However, the Islamabad police strongly denied the statement, adding that the capital city has seen a decline in street and other crime rates compared to previous years.

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“Despite negative propaganda, Islamabad Police‬ will keep its morale high and continue to serve with same courage,” the city police department said on Twitter. “We are committed to ensure safety and security of the citizens” in the capital city, adding that the law and order situation in Islamabad is under control. Police officials said they are committed “to the cause of making Islamabad one of the safest capitals in the world.”

The police statement came after the alert issued by the United States embassy informing the American citizens living in Islamabad that the number of crimes, including mugging, armed robberies and theft of mobile phones, purses and automobiles, had increased in the city. The statement claimed that “most incidents have taken place in G-6, F-6, F-7, F-10, I-9, and I-10” neighbourhoods of Islamabad, adding that US citizens traveling within these areas and while visiting markets should exercise caution and remain alert. The US citizens were also asked to keep a low profile and avoid displaying signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches, and be vigilant while visiting banks or ATMs.

Islamabad police, however, claimed the information is based on assumptions and no such incidents took place in the areas.

Claim “Profoundly exaggerated”

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat termed the US embassy report “Profoundly exaggerated”. Sharing the city crime statistics from last three years in a tweet, DC Islamabad said, “It appears there is an intentional attempt to malign the law and order situation in Islamabad” and asked the citizens to “check the stats and judge” themselves.

Islamabad citizens also criticized the US embassy report on Twitter. Social media activist Fahad Malik said Islamabad’s crime index of 28.77 on Numbeo (a crowd-sourced global database) makes it safer than four US cities, Washington DC, San Francisco, New York and Las Vegas.