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Crime and Institutional Response: A Study of Mobile Snatching and Street Assaults in Pakistan

Asad Salahuddin

Crime rates seem to be severely augmenting over the past several years in Pakistan which has
perpetuated concerns as to what, when and how this upsurge will be eradicated. State
institutions are supposed to be in utmost perplexity, given the enormity of worsening law and
order situation, compelling government on the flip side to expend more resources in
strengthening institutions to confront crime, whereas, the economy has been confronted with
massive energy crisis, mass unemployment and considerable inflation which has rendered
most of the people into articulate apprehension as to how to satisfy basic necessities.
A framework to investigate the variability in the rising street crimes, as affected by social and
institutional outcomes, has been established using a cross sectional study. Questionnaire,
entailing seven sections incorporating numerous patterns of behavior and history of
involvement in different crimes for potential street criminals was observed as data collection
instrument. In order to specifically explicate the intent of street crimes on micro level,
various motivational and de-motivational factors that stimulate people to resort to street
crimes were scrutinized. Intent of mobile snatching and intent of street assault as potential
dependent variables were examined using numerous variables that influence the occurrence
and intent of these crimes using ordered probit along with ordered logit and tobit as
competing models. Model Estimates asserts that intent of mobile snatching has been
significantly enhanced owing to perceived judicial inefficiency and lower ability of police
reforms to operate effectively, which signifies the inefficiency of institutions that are entitled
to deliver justice and maintaining law and order respectively. Whereas, intent of street
assaults, as an outcome, affirms that people with lack of self-stability and severe childhood
punishments were more tempted to be involved in violent acts.

Keywords: Deprivation, Street Assault, Self control, Police Reform