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|28 December, 2016

One crime is committed every 28 minutes in Oman

2015 was a record low year for the number of crimes committed

Two police officers ride their horses outside the Zayed sport city stadium ahead of the 18th Arabian Gulf Cup final soccer match between United Arab Emirates and Oman in Abu Dhabi, January 30, 2007. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Two police officers ride their horses outside the Zayed sport city stadium ahead of the 18th Arabian Gulf Cup final soccer match between United Arab Emirates and Oman in Abu Dhabi, January 30, 2007. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad
28 December 2016
By Tariq Ziad Al Haremi

One crime is committed every 28 minutes in the Sultanate, according to data from the National Centre for Statistics and Information.

The number of registered criminals represents just 0.64 per cent of the population. 

2015 was a record low year for the number of crimes committed, with 18,860 registered, compared to 22,624 in 2014 and 26,602 in 2013. Last year saw a 17 per cent dip in crimes compared to 2014.

However, low data suggests that four crimes are committed per 1,000 population, with that 1 crime being committed every 28 minutes.

Upon hearing this information, Khalid, an Omani national, said that he was surprised, because that number seemed unlikely, considering that Oman is probably the safest country in the Middle East.

“It’s surprising to hear that one crime every 28 minutes is not a joke, said Khalid.

“Considering that the country has a reputation of being safe, I don’t believe that it could be true, could it?”, asked Khalid

Katsu, a Japanese tourist, said, “It’s actually hard to believe, because I feel safe here and the security forces in the country are doing a good job in keeping it safe. However, if that is true, then it is a cause for concern.” In 2015, 26,655 suspects were arrested, compared to 27,012 in 2014, and expatriates made up 52 per cent of the total arrests, compared to Omanis, who were the remaining 48 per cent of those arrested.

13,798 expatriates were registered offenders in 2015, with 12,154 being males and 1,644 being females. Further, 12,205 Omani males were reported as having been arrested, while 652 females were arrested. Additionally, 6895 criminals violated laws and regulations, which made up thelargest groups of crimes to be committed. That includes entering the country illegally, violation of residency laws and violation of labour laws.

Crimes related to finance follows,with 5,528 people being arrested for thievery, fraud, intentional arson and money laundering. Of note, 5,085 suspects committed crimes against individuals, which included assault, insults to honor and dignity, threats, murder and attempted murder, human trafficking and inciting public panic, making it the third-largest category of crimes committed in 2015.

Juveniles (9-17 years old) made up only 3.3 per cent of the registered suspects last year,in which the majority of crimes committed werethose related to finance.

Suspects aged 18 to 29 years old made up 43 percent of the total suspects who violated residency and labour laws, which was the most commonly committed crime among that age group. Al Buraimi Governorate registered the highest crime rate, with 13 crimes per 1000 population, mainly due to the increase of residency and labour law violations, and those entering the country illegally,as the area is located near the border.

It also registered the highest number of violators, with 30 per 1000 population. Most crimes were committed in Muscat Governorate, with 31 percent of total crimes, followed by North Al Batinah with 19 per cent and Dhofar with 12 per cent.

The remaining governorates accounted for 37 per cent.
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© Times of Oman 2016