In the first half of 2020, Morocco’s police force arrested a total of 220,000 individuals suspected of penal infractions and violent crimes, including 12,000 minors.
Morocco’s Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, announced the figure on Tuesday during a parliamentary session at the House of Councillors.
The number only accounts for the arrests Morocco’s police made in urban centers. In rural areas, the Royal Gendarmerie arrested 36,000 individuals in the first six months of 2020, including 1,721 minors.
Laftit announced the figures in response to a question about the rise of violence and crime in Moroccan cities.
According to the minister, the number of arrests demonstrates the role Moroccan security services play in the fight against crime.
However, Laftit admitted that authorities’ efforts are not enough to reduce crime, stressing that this “global challenge requires the involvement of all society.”
The minister argued that social networks have a major impact on citizens’ feeling of insecurity.
“Social networks are one of the tools that propagate insecurity because they sometimes relay unreal facts and events,” he explained.
Morocco’s police have doubled their efforts to monitor publications on social networks by increasing human resources and upgrading technological tools, Laftit assured.
“It is thanks to the vigilance of competent services that [Morocco] enjoys a climate of security,” he concluded.
In 2019, Moroccan security services handled 639,116 criminal cases and arrested 644,025 people, including 23,746 minors.
According to the annual report of the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN), violent crimes such as serious robberies and sexual assaults represented 8% of the criminal cases.
The violent crime rate witnessed a significant decrease of 8.6% between 2018 and 2019.
Based on Laftit’s positive review of security services’ efforts, the number could further decline in 2020.