In less than 30 days, 15 armed robberies have taken place in Jordan, as far as we know at AlGhad. The robbers targeting banks, shops and pharmacies, and they were all arrested, except for one of the bank robbers, still at large.
Security-wise, it is an achievement. But socially speaking, this sudden spike in criminal activity raises many questions.
We must try to understand why the perpetrators of these crimes did what they did, and why the sudden surge in activity.
The fact that this spike came simultaneously with the government’s de-subsidisation and tax revamp decisions caused many to view these crimes as reactionary responses to the price hikes.
As valid as this hypothesis is, it needs to be inspected and investigated thoroughly. Otherwise, we will not be able to conclude the actuality of it or whether it could be employed in the effort to contain the phenomenon.
Police and officials have another theory. They claim that the public’s sympathy towards the perpetrator of the first failed bank robber, has encouraged some youth, primarily those with priors, to enhance their techniques and try their luck.
In part that may be true. At first, the failed robber did receive an amount of sympathy. But soon after, the public was predominantly opposing.
At one point, citizens became actively engaged in the practical resistance to criminal activity, as opposed to just opinion. Many took part in the pursuit of the Arab Bank robber in Amman a few days ago, leading to his arrest.
If anything, this only means that the people do not sympathise with criminals and criminal activity.
Official statements, on the other hands, indicate that most of robbers in these recent events were ex-cons.
This, in turn, brings to light another hypothesis, regarding the criminal history of those robbers.
Either way, understanding the phenomenon requires that we inspect all valid hypothesis from an investigative perspective; we need to study the phenomenon.
Of course, no study can be conducted without access to investigation record and the detainees themselves, their histories, social settings, habitat and careers. Comprehensive research is our only way to understanding these phenomenon and containing their spread.
The responsibility of the police is to prevent crime and bring criminals justice, and they’re doing their job just fine. The judiciary will address their legal situation, accordingly, but this is far from enough.
We need to complement these process with an integrated societal effort to uncover the core of the issue. A third track that runs adjacently to the legal and executive processes to unearth the root of the issue, in the hopes of actually addressing it, socially and economically.
Personally, I am not as susceptible to the initial explanations of such complex social phenomenon. It is difficult to conclusively conclude, in such cases, based on the preliminary investigation records of the cases brought to trial. These documents are designed to address only the legal aspect of incidence, as opposed to what a social study would require, in terms of context and all.
Thorough inspection of the phenomenon could deliver us shocking results that could help us shift the entire trajectory of the current social unfolding. We may very well, with enough knowledge at hand, be able to treat core social issues in ways that could greatly benefit society as well as victims of crime, the criminals themselves included, in some cases.
It may come to us as a shock to learn that some of the detainees did not know about the price hikes or bread de-subsidisation. Some have no idea which commodities were included in the tax hikes.
In any way, it would not hurt, on contraire actually, if a group of specialists should come together to investigate this phenomenon, to conclude which of the three hypothesis is correct!
This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.