Hajj crime 'down 60pc', says Riyadh

Hajj crime 'down 60pc', says Riyadh
1 min read
Officials have reported that criminal offences decreased dramatically due to the absence of 'habitual offenders', the same year that Iran boycotted the pilgrimage.
The police attributed their success to the lack of 'habitual offenders' and strong data
An official press release from the Saudi Ministry of Interior released on Friday stated that crime on this year's Hajj decreased 60 further, but did not give further statistics to support its claim.

The report, which quotes the commander of criminal investigation in the holy places, Brigadier-General Mohammad al-Omair, co-incidentally comes after Iran announced a boycott of this year's pilgrimage.

"This is quite an achievement that's attributed to the thorough preparation of concerned authorities," said al-Omair.

According to the report, the main reason for the apparent decrease in criminal activity was due to "the prevention of the entry of pilgrims who have been habitual offenders when the annual Hajj season comes.

"The investigation and search teams registered the data on suspects and verified the evidence presented," al-Omair said. The release failed to provide any detailed data.

According to the report, Saudi police deployed a total of five police units in Mina, two in Arafat and one in Muzdalifah. It is unclear if this is an increase on the previous year.

The news comes the day after a Twitter feud, where the hashtag "Hajj Without Iran is Organised and Safe" (in Arabic: الحج_بدون_ايران_تنظيم_وامان) started trending.

It was one of the most recent steps in escalating tensions between the geopolitical regional rivals.