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Rise in crime rate registered over five-year period

By Dana Al Emam - Oct 14,2014 - Last updated at Oct 14,2014

AMMAN — The total number of crimes and felonies in the Kingdom has increased over the past five years, according to a Department of Statistics (DoS) study.

Over the surveyed period between 2009 and 2013, the number of crimes and felonies increased from 24,700 to 33,800, with the general crime rate rising from four to five cases per 1,000 people.

Commenting on the study, which was based on Public Security Department figures, Musa Shteiwi, head of the Centre for Strategic Studies, said the majority of crimes in Jordan can be blamed on "economic reasons".

"The recent economic changes, including the increase in unemployment and poverty rates, have contributed to the increase in crimes," Shteiwi told The Jordan Times over phone on Tuesday, adding that feelings of inequality in opportunities feed the tendency to commit crimes.  

He described the increase in crimes as a "natural result of the current materialistic lifestyle", where individual feels pressured to secure a stable income, a house and a car.

Shteiwi attributed the social violence phenomenon and the increase of murders to political changes during the past three years.

"People started breaking the law to get their rights with their own hands because they don't feel the law is applied equally to everyone," he noted, highlighting the lack of public trust in the state's legal institutions, mainly due to their lengthy procedures.

"Suspending capital punishment might be a contributing factor to the increase in the number of revenge murders," Shteiwi said.

Noting that refugees have a "limited involvement" in crimes, he said demographic changes in the Jordanian community might affect its shared value system, which could loosen control over crime.

The DoS study shows that over 17,000 crimes took place in the capital in 2013, constituting 51 per cent of the total crimes for last year, while around 4,000 crimes occurred in Zarqa (around 12 per cent) and Irbid witnessed more than 3,500 crimes (10 per cent).

Shteiwi's explanation was that governorates with high populations are more likely to witness crime.

"Over 40 per cent of the Kingdom's population resides in Amman," he noted.

The sociology professor said crime can be further controlled if economic conditions improve, calling for boosting the sovereignty of the law and its equal enforcement on everyone. 

He also urged legal entities that look into disputes and complaints to speed up procedures, "so that criminals do not evade the grip of justice".


 

Type of crime

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Crimes

Attempted murder

392

451

575

513

561

Heavy injury

706

807

903

1,071

1,070

Drug trafficking

661

478

509

524

711

Kidnapping

77

86

127

130

179

Molestation

675

662

607

767

780

Felony

Manslaughter

26

30

20

24

34

Cheating

1,417

1,497

1,903

2,030

2,175

Car theft

2,618

2,589

4,348

4,908

5,039

Festive firing

996

1,166

1,384

1,574

1,869

Possession of drugs

2,626

2,897

3,184

3,811

5,417

Suicide

34

49

39

86

108

Source: DoS study

 

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