There are nearly 110,000 criminal suspects and convicts on the loose in Egypt, representing a major challenge for the police, according to Major General Ahmed Gamal al-Din, assistant minister of interior for public security.
He said many of the suspects escaped from 99 police stations that were stormed during recent unrest.
In addition, thousands of prisoners escaped during the revolution, with 7,000 still fugitive.
Gamal al-Din stressed that outlaws are being followed by police according to a security plan being implemented in all of the governorates. The crime rate, he said, has begun to decrease as security and police services return with regularity to the streets.
Public security is now focused on attacking outposts of crime to restore stability to Egypt, he said.
In a statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Gamal al-Din said there are ongoing crackdowns to control outlaws, and that the armed forces are playing a major role in the effort, targeting crime hubs in Assiut, Minya,
Alexandria, Gharbiya, Daqahlia and Beheira governorates.
He clarified that the Interior Ministry is not at war with thugs, but said the law applies to them and to others, and the use of force is necessary in accordance with regulations. Force does not mean violence, he added.
Gamal al-Din said the renewed police presence is for citizens’ safety and that police have uncovered 474
murders between January and May out of 656 total cases, in addition to hundreds of robberies and assaults.
He noted that a small minority of citizens still refuse to accept the police.
Security forces are also working to control gangs in Giza, Alexandria and Qalyubiya regarding the recent rise in car
theft. These gangs have guided the police to 54 stolen cars.
Nearly 70,000 judicial rulings have been issued between January and early June, thousands of firearms that
were stolen from police stations recovered, and 18 murders and six kidnappings solved, according to Gamal al-Din. But more than half of the 9000 weapons believed stolen from police have not yet been recovered.
“The Egyptian citizen is now in dire need of security, especially after the storming of prisons and police
stations during the 25 January revolution and the flight of some 23,000 prisoners,” he said. “More than 16,000 of them were captured, while 7,000 of them are still outside prisons.”
Security is a shared responsibility of police and citizens and can only be restored with the latter’s cooperation, he said.
The assistant minister also promised that police officers’ shortcomings will be firmly dealt with by both the Interior Ministry and the public prosecutor.
The Ministry of Interior has been subjected to relentless media campaigns, especially after the revolution, and has been charged with treason, along with other criticisms that distorted the reputation of its members, he said.
Although this has negatively affected security and police, they are forced to continue their mission to restore order, Gamal al-Din said, asserting that the police system is patriotic and sincere and will restore the confidence of the people.
The Ministry of Interior has prepared a plan in coordination with the Ministry of Education and the armed forces to ensure school security during final exams. Exams, he said, will be transferred by military aircraft from the central
education administration office to the governorates, and then moved from the local airports to examination committees under heavy security. Police officers will be stationed in schools during the exams.