IN less than a week, roughly between March 8-11, 2016, the Arab Times presented the following headlines in its Crime news: 1,068 referred for deportation in massive campaign on vice. A Bangladeshi held for stealing copper cables. An Asian expatriate was taken into police custody for removing his clothes in public. Police nab expat for forging papers to get driving license. 18 teachers held from private kindergarten schools. 218 arrested in Sabhan morning security raids face deportation. Tutors held for taking lessons in café (source: Arab Times)!
It is of course illogical to generalize about the rise of crime among the expat population because most of our residents are hardworking and law abiding people. However, one also notices an apparent increase in the number of residents who are nabbed by the police, for either committing a crime or violating our residence or labor laws. In fact, it is not far-fetched to argue here that there seems to be a surge in the number of crimes committed by residents. What seems to contribute to the unprecedented rise in expat’s crime-rate in Kuwait is the continuation of an obviously ineffective sponsorship system. For example, many foreigners, with no previous work experience, few perhaps with criminal records in their country, seem to slip through the cracks of our sponsorship system. Many of those who commit crimes do not acquire the habit of criminal behavior in Kuwait because our hard working residents continue to be models of excellent behavior. Therefore, those who run vice dens in Kuwait, steal copper cables, forge driver licenses or teach without having the appropriate qualifications must have committed the same criminal activities in their country! I do call upon our government to put more pressure on some Asian and some Arab governments to do their part of the bargain: prevent anyone with a previous criminal record to travel to Kuwait.
Moreover, the only effective way to fight the phenomenon of some residents committing crimes is to increase the number of security checks, and to launch a more effective raids program, perhaps offer generous rewards to those who inform about illegals and criminals. Whatever we are planning to do to curb the rise in criminal behavior, we have to do it very soon. One might sympathize with some illegal expats who deserve to have another chance to rectify their iqama situation. However, we should not forgive any illegal resident who deliberately engages in criminal activities in our country. I call on the Ministry of Interior to increase its security campaigns and focus more on highly congested areas like industrial and bachelor blocks in or around our residential areas: our law-abiding residents can help our security men by informing about determined violators of our laws.
By Khaled Aljenfawi