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Not safe in Saudi?
Crime in the kingdom increased by 14 percent in 2008, say authorities.
August 13, 2009 10:10 by Aarti Nagraj
Saudi Arabia witnessed 78,737 crimes in 2008, an increase of 14 percent compared to 2007 figures, according to a report by the Investigation and Prosecution Commission, says Arab News. The kingdom saw 27,888 rape or sexual harassment cases, 21,395 drug- and alcohol-related crimes, 15,540 assaults and 3,014 financial crimes in 2008.
The report states that the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the city of Khamis Mushayt uncovered an enormous pool of alcohol, valued at more than SR6 million ($1.6 million) near the Tandaha Dam. “A committee comprising representatives of various government departments covered the pool with earth and destroyed distilling equipment around it,” the report said.
Jeddah topped the report’s list for drug and alcohol crimes. “Most of the distilleries discovered in Jeddah were run by expatriates who were residing illegally in the kingdom. They wanted to make quick money before going back home,” an official from the Commission told Arab News. The city also came first for assaults, recording an increase of 2,791 crimes in 2008.
The report also claimed that the numbers of suicide attempts went up during the year, rising to 143 – an 8.3 percent increase over 2007 figures.
Makkah registered the lowest number of crimes among the kingdom’s larger cities. “The crime rate in the holy city is within a normal level,” said Makkah police spokesman Zaki Al-Rihaili. “It has a lower rate than the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah, but because of its sanctity its crimes are usually over-reported.”
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