Drug-related crimes rise by 24%
AMMAN - The total number of drug-related crimes in 2009 has increased by 24 per cent compared with last year, according to Anti-Narcotics Department (AND) figures.
The Public Security Department (PSD) has dealt with 3,532 drug cases since January of this year including trade, consumption and possession, compared to 2,860 in 2008, a security official said on Wednesday.
During 2009, the AND seized 2,093 kilogrammes of hashish, 247 kilogrammes of heroin, 31 kilogrammes of marijuana, 18,000 pills of cocaine and 30 million pills of captagon, the official noted, adding that hashish remains the most commonly used drug in Jordan.
He said the perpetrators were between the ages of 22 and 45 and included both Jordanians and foreigners.
AND Director General Muhannad Attar described the increase as "normal" when compared with global numbers that show an upward trend in the production and use of drugs.
"The 2009 UN drug report shows an increase of consumption and production of drugs in the world," he said.
"Jordan is considered a transit point between drug producing and consuming countries," Attar explained, highlighting the PSD's efforts to curb drug smuggling into the country.
These measures include increasing manpower in the department and improving monitoring methods at entry points and other areas in the Kingdom.
In addition, the AND has adopted a national strategy to curb drug abuse in coordination with various sectors including ministries, schools, universities and private societies concerned with youth and family protection issues.
"Through our strategy, we mainly target youths at schools and universities by organising several presentations and lectures on drug awareness, prevention and addiction," Attar said.
Meanwhile, sociologist Musa Shteiwi said that the PSD's figures do not reflect the reality of drug trade and consumption in the Kingdom, but only the PSD's ability to deal with the problem.
He attributed the increasing number of drug-related cases to domestic violence, unemployment and depression.
"The issue needs to be tackled from a social perspective... the PSD is not able to completely solve it," he said, stressing the important role of families in preventing drug abuse.
By Wafa Samara
December 24, 2009
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