Egypt Interior Minister Promises Crackdown on ‘Thuggery’

Article Summary
In an interview, Egypt’s new interior minister promises to address the insecurity that has plagued Egypt since its revolution. Yosra al-Badri reports that Gamal al-Din aims to reduce protests, clear roadblocks and ensure thugs and thieves are caught. Providing stability for police officers and security in the Sinai are also high priorities.

Egypt’s new interior minister, Major General Ahmed Gamal al-Din, said after a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil that the police will restore security by “force” in the coming period. He added that there are urgent files that need to be tackled, namely restoring security in Sinai and addressing the problems of the Bedouins. Gamal al-Din thanked the former interior minister, Major General Mohammed Ibrahim, for his efforts over the past period to restore security in the Egyptian street, describing him as having been a “fighter” during his ministerial term.

The new Egyptian interior minister told Al-Masry al-Youm, “Our mission in the coming period is to restore security. Citizens will not feel ‘secure’ unless [security is] ‘strong.’ Restoring security is my highest priority at the Ministry of the Interior. All forms of thuggery that terrorize citizens in the Egyptian street must be eliminated. I will personally examine the grievances of police officers, and I pledge to ensure all their humanitarian and health needs. It is necessary to provide stability for police officers and recognize their concerns and problems, as well as achieve safety and security for the citizens and homeland.”

The new interior minister promised officers that he would achieve stability in the Egyptian street. He noted that restoring security in Sinai is an “urgent requirement” that should be made in coordination with the Bedouin elders, saying that he knows them and is confident of their loyalty to Egypt.

Gamal al-Din stressed the importance of the current period in the history of Egypt. He emphasized the priorities of the Ministry of the Interior at this critical stage, which requires the mobilization of all police efforts and reviewing all security plans and strategies. He outlined a number of priorities, which include conducting urgent studies aimed at analyzing and identifying the trajectory of crime across the republic. He said that the law will apply to everyone, especially to citizens who block roads and disable railways. He underlined the need to find solutions aimed at reducing protests and demonstrations, describing them as obstacles to achieving security and economic stability.

The interior minster noted that the next phase will be one characterized by construction and production, stressing the need to avoid all problems and protests through the law and the awareness of the people. Gamal al-Din added: “In the upcoming period, the police will launch intensive and calculated security campaigns that will target bastions of crime and aim to arrest fugitives and thugs who terrorize citizens. [The police will also] broaden the criteria for implementing provisions aimed at arresting convicted fugitives and monitor the activities of registered criminal elements who have committed criminal offenses. This will be applied within a comprehensive legal framework and under the rule of law. [We will also] develop the system of fixed and mobile checkpoints, which will be stepped up on highways and city hubs."

According to the new interior minister, the Ministry of the Interior will in the coming period seek to combine and unite the efforts of the people with those of the police in their intense confrontation of criminals and thugs. He said that citizens will not feel safe unless security is firm, noting that he will work to deploy all security chiefs in streets, rather than in offices, in order to achieve security and stability.

Gamal al-Din noted that he has devised several plans and will personally oversee their implementation in all governorates, describing plans that are not followed up on as “useless.” He noted that the media would support the security institutions when it finds them to be “strong” rather than “broken,” saying this would encourage citizens to report any violations by thugs and thieves.

He confirmed that he would not hesitate to take firm action against violations committed by any officer.

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Found in: police, egyptian revolution

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