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Government vows ‘no leniency’ for racketeers as PSD toughens crackdown

PM reaffirms full support for all law enforcement efforts; Interior minister directs governors not to release detainees with criminal records without his approval

By JT - Oct 19,2020 - Last updated at Oct 19,2020

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh meets with Public Security Directorate Director Maj. Gen. Hussein Hawatmeh during a visit to the directorate in the presence of Interior Minister Tawfiq Halalmeh on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh on Sunday reiterated the government’s full support for all law enforcement efforts in ensuring the rule of law.

During his visit to the Public Security Directorate (PSD), where he met with Interior Minister Tawfiq Halalmeh and PSD Director Maj. Gen. Hussein Hawatmeh, the PM expressed gratitude for the efforts of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security agencies, especially during the pandemic, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Hawatmeh briefed the PM on the decision to form joint security teams consisting of the PSD and the Gendarmerie Department to look for and arrest all wanted people and suspects of protection rackets. (See story on page 3)

The police chief also expressed pride in government’s support to the PSD, highlighting the government’s measures in easing obstacles facing security forces, notably in its efforts to arrest repeat offenders and implement harsh penalties for them.

Hawatmeh stressed the police department’s “absolute trust in Jordan’s just judiciary” and high level of cooperation with the Interior Ministry, the Army, the General Intelligence Department and the administrative governors.

Meanwhile, during a Cabinet session on Sunday, the Council of Ministers expressed the government's full support for the Interior Ministry and the PSD's law enforcement efforts.

The Cabinet emphasised the government's full commitment to implement His majesty King Abdullah's directives to the government to enshrine the rule of law and ensure that every person is subject to law.

The Cabinet praised the “distinguished and professional” efforts of the PSD, security agencies and the army. 

During the meeting, the Cabinet decided to review all pieces of legislation to plug any legal loopholes utilised by persons with crime records, stressing that the government will amend these laws soon.

Halalmeh briefed the council of ministers on the security campaign carried out by the PSD to arrest racketeers and those who spread fear among the public, noting that the campaign will continue until “all criminal acts are uprooted”.

The minister noted that that the public have welcomed the move 

The Cabinet stressed the importance of carrying out the security campaign across the Kingdom with “no leniency”. 

Wanted people are required to turn themselves in, to be dealt with in accordance with the law, it said.

Also on Sunday, Halalmeh directed administrative governors not to release administrative detainees with serious criminal records and racketeers without a direct order from him, Petra reported.

A source at the Interior Ministry said that the procedure is based on the Anti-Crime Law after a rise in the number of crimes perpetrated by those with serious criminal records, Petra, added. 

Earlier in the day during a field tour of downtown Amman, Hawatmeh said that security campaigns initiated by the directorate are not linked to a certain incident, adding that they aim at arresting racketeers and protecting citizens. 

Hawatmeh said that the PSD will “not tolerate these outlaws who terrify citizens”, according to Petra. 

The PSD director also called on the public not to hesitate reporting bullying or racketing incidents through WhatsApp on: 0790196196. 

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