The crime rate in Lebanon’s northern capital of Tripoli has reached alarming levels as the country’s economic collapse deepens.
The economic situation in the last few years has pushed tens of thousands of people into poverty and triggered large anti-government protests.
In Tripoli unemployment and poverty have risen to over 60 per cent since the government applied a strict lockdown to fight rising coronavirus rates.
Citizens fear going out at night due to the incidences of robbery, extortion and armed attacks that have been experienced recently.
Tripoli Mayor Riyad Yamak said that criminal activities had increased for the last two weeks and called on the army and police officials to enforce the night curfew.
According to a report, which was previously published by the International Data Centre in the country, based on the data of the security forces, murders increased by 45.5 per cent in January and February of 2021. The report noted that thefts increased by 144 per cent compared to the same period during the previous year.
Tripoli Governor Ramzi Nahra told Anadolu Agency today: “The crisis in Tripoli will only come to an end with the end of the fuel and general crisis in Lebanon.”
“As soon as citizens lose their basic needs, chaos begins and incidents become unavoidable. Many of the poor people are also victims of these criminal incidents in many regions,” said Nahra.
He stated that measures have been taken to stem the rising crime rates. “We have imposed a ban on motorcycling in the city from 10:00pm at night to 05:00am in the morning. We have set up mobile checkpoints in the city for security purposes.”
He stressed that most of the recent security problems took place in front of the gas stations which cannot meet the needs of citizens.
“Security will not be allowed to get out of control. Safety is our red line. People who are sitting safely in their homes will not be allowed to be harassed, burglarised, or intimidated with guns,” added Nahra.