Tehran Police Urge Citizen Policing Amid Crime Spike, Hijab Crackdown

Monday, 04/29/2024

Residents in Iran’s capital are being urged to take matters into their own hands and document crimes and law violations, following a call from one of Tehran's police chiefs.

The plea by Ali Valipour Goodarzi, the head of the Tehran Police Criminal Investigation Department, follows a violent assault on a public bus last month.

The unidentified assailant assaulted a passenger with a chain, before fleeing the scene.

The video of the attack quickly spread online – reportedly assisting the police in arresting the suspect, whose motives are still unknown.

In what can be described as a self-praising statement, Goodarzi on Monday, cited the case as an example of what he labeled as the "outstanding" performance of Tehran’s police.

Goodarzi’s appeal to the public coincides with intense scrutiny of the police department's effectiveness in maintaining safety in Tehran. Despite his optimistic depiction, many residents continue to voice their dissatisfaction, particularly criticizing the force's inability to curb crime in the capital.

Recent data underscores those concerns, suggesting that incidents such as theft have risen sharply, presenting significant challenges to public safety and security.

Asghar Jahangir, the deputy of social affairs for the judiciary, noted in December 2022 that theft has been the predominant crime in Iran for the last five years.

In addition, the police force’s enforcement of Plan Nour – which targets women refusing to wear the mandatory hijab – has further fueled the public’s discontent.

Criticism of the policy has extended beyond regime critics to include some supporters of the Islamic Republic – who don’t argue against the mandatory hijab law – but say that the police have been misallocating resources to suppress dissent rather than focusing on more prevalent criminal activities.

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