Trend of hiring housemaids without IDs is increasing crime
By Imran Chaudhary
LAHORE: The trend of hiring housemaids without proper identity verification is giving rise to house robberies and, on the flip side, human rights violations across the provincial capital, Daily Times has learnt.
However, the percentage of maids involved in crimes, especially theft, is smaller in selected areas of the city where housing societies maintain a practice of registered and verified maids and servants.
Most of the city’s residents hire servants from the periphery of either their own locality or some remote village. In a majority of cases, the identities of these personnel are not verified properly and when a crime is committed, even the police knows very little about the accused. In many cases, the affluent hire underage workers, mostly babysitters, and do not report a crime to avoid legal proceedings against them for hiring underage labour. On the other hand, in areas where maids and servants are registered with the society, people are generally safe from crimes committed by house servants.
Gangs: Sources in the women’s police station revealed that in 2008, around 20 theft cases were registered against maids and their accomplices. Two cases were also registered against women for kidnapping girls with the help of their accomplices and five cases were registered against women for robbing citizens.
In 2009, 25 cases of theft were registered against housemaids, while in 2010, 20 cases of theft have been registered with the women’s police station so far.
The sources further said that in some cases housemaids operate with gangs, and after they have gathered enough information by working in a house, ask their accomplices to rob it. The reason a housemaid or servant commits a robbery is, in some cases, due to brutal treatment by their employers.
In 2005, a special city police team arrested a gang of female robbers from the Defence Housing Authority and arrested its ringleaders, Tasneem, alias Chanda, and Yasmin, alias Sami, and Ghulam Akbar. In her statement, one of the arrested said that she had been working as a maid in several houses and that her employers had mistreated her a lot. She said that frequent reprimands for not cleaning the house in a way that was “up to the mark’ eventually pushed her to invite other outlaws to help her rob the house.
Mistreatment: Talking to Daily Times, a psychiatrist said that the lower income groups always long for self-respect because they do not have enough money and if such people are not treated with respect, they can take revenge on the rich.
Model Town Superintendent of Police (SP) (Operations) Ayyaz Saleem told Daily Times that a majority of the people didn’t keep their servants’ personal records despite police orders to do so. “This is why the police find it difficult to solve crimes,” he said.
He said that police had been asking people, in particular those living in wealthy localities, to properly verify the identity and record of a housemaid before hiring her.
The SP further said there was no mechanism to register housemaids before hiring them. “People avoid getting the names of their personnel registered because they would then have to pay them social welfare and similar benefits, and also comply with the government’s minimum wage policy… children are always cheap laborers and have no demands,” Saleem said, adding that in a majority of cases, people avoid police intervention to avoid legal proceedings, and many of them say that servants and maids are not easily available.
Source: Daily Times