x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ajman crime rises but bounced cheques are the main culprit

There has been a 13 per cent increase in crime but police stress it is mostly related to finance.

AJMAN // Ajman had a 13 per cent jump in crime in the first six months of this year.

The total number of cases rose to 6,028 in the first half of this year from 5,319 in the first six months last year, with cases not related to debt more than doubling.

That figure included a 19 per cent drop in the number of dishonoured cheque cases, to 3,357 from 4,158.

But bounced cheque crimes remained by far the most common.

There were rises in many categories including shop burglary, up 15 per cent to 168; motorway robbery, up 41 per cent to 55; theft from villas, up 36 per cent to 36; car theft, up 13 per cent to 34; and motorcycle theft, which doubled to eight.

The number of thefts from cars rose slightly, to 104 from 100, while warehouse thefts jumped from only five in the first half of last year to 12 this year. The rise in thefts from government departments trebled to 12.

There were 18 cases of entering the country illegally, two cases of returning after deportation and two cases of illegally carrying arms, none of which occurred in the first half of last year.

There were three murders, unchanged from last year's number, and reported rapes were up from two to three.

There were no manslaughter cases, compared with two in the first half of last year. Kidnapping fell from nine to three cases.

But Ajman Police were keen to stress that most of the crimes in the emirate were related to bounced cheques.

"There are still more people failing to pay their cheques and bank loans because of difficult financial times, but this was not a threat to public safety," said Col Sheikh Sultan Abdullah Al Nuaimi, the deputy director general."

Col Al Nuaimi said the police would be running several crime awareness campaigns this year, with seminars and a youth summer camp.

ykakande@thenational.ae