Incidence of Crime
Detailed criminal statistics were not customarily available but
fragmentary data has been released from time to time that provided
limited information on the nature and scope of criminal activity in
Jordan. According to a Jordanian submission to the International
Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), national criminal
statistics recorded 16,215 offenses for 1984. Although it was not
clear what offenses constituted this total, the number of cases in
the following categories was supplied: ordinary theft (3,859 cases
reported), aggravated theft (1,208 cases), breaking and entering
(1,164 cases), car theft (178 cases), robbery and violent theft (44
cases), other forms of theft (2,473 cases), serious assaults (437),
homicide (70), and rape (24). Frauds numbered 276 and currency or
counterfeiting violations numbered 31. Only sixty-five drug
offenses were reported.
According to Interpol, the total number of criminal offenses
reported by Jordanian authorities constituted a rate of 630 crimes
per 100,000 people. This rate was far lower than that reported by
most countries of Western Europe but was typical of some Middle
Eastern countries, and higher than many countries of the Third
World. The validity of this index was linked to the reliability of
the reports of criminal activity submitted to Interpol.
The Public Security Directorate released similar data for 1986.
In that year, 19,618 criminal offenses were reported. Under the
category of thefts and robberies, the directorate listed 4,269
violations. According to the directorate, most such crimes were
committed by unemployed males and by low-paid laborers between the
ages of eighteen and twenty-seven. There were 549 offenses listed
as "moral" crimes, including rape, abduction, and various forms of
public misbehavior. A total of 348 cases of fraud and embezzlement
were recorded, reflecting a rising trend attributed by the police
to poor economic conditions and financial difficulties of
individuals and companies. The sixty-four murders reported
represented a decline from eighty-one in the previous year.
Generally, such crimes were the result of personal disputes, family
problems, and seeking revenge. Again, the perpetrators of homicides
were predominantly in the eighteen to twenty-seven-year-old agegroup . The police reported that 71 deaths and 513 injuries had
resulted from guns fired in celebration or accidentally.
Data as of December 1989