BEIRUT — Reported crime dropped significantly in the first four months of 2023 compared to the same period last year, according to data released Monday by the Internal Security Forces (ISF).
The total number of reported car thefts dropped from 439 in 2022 to 415 this year, while murders fell from 61 to 49. Pickpocketing cases dropped to 183 from 200 last year.
The apparent drop comes "in spite of the difficult security circumstances" in Lebanon, the ISF said in their statement Monday.
A source at the ISF told L'Orient Today that the decrease comes after a 2021 decision to fight rising crime. The source spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak with the press.
"Even if we are not given high salaries, we are aware that if we don't do our duties, criminals will fill the gap and we can not accept that," the ISF source said.
A lawyer told L'Orient Today that he thinks the numbers could be misrepresentative of reality. The lawyer requested anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the press by the Beirut Bar Association.
"These numbers only reflect the crimes that are being reported to ISF, whose capabilities dropped, as their members are taking on other jobs to sustain a living after their salaries drop," the lawyer said.
He added that the decrease "could be an indication that people stopped trusting security institutions and stopped reporting these crimes."
As for the numbers, the lawyer said that there is no mechanism to make sure that the numbers presented are accurate.