Drug addiction is the main cause behind the alarming high crime rate in Ho Chi Minh City, the spokesman of the municipal police department has admitted.
Colonel Nguyen Sy Quang, chief advisor and spokesman of the Ho Chi Minh City police department, admitted in an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that criminal has been on an upward trend in the southern metropolis.
“Criminals are increasing in violence, aggression and audacity,” Quang said.
The interview took place against the backdrop of a tragic incident involving two unofficial ‘street knights’ killed by motorbike thieves, and another case whereby two people were stabbed by the same criminals who attempted to snatch their mobile phones in Ho Chi Minh City.
Quang admitted that there is almost no boundary between different kinds of criminals as they tend to transform quickly.
“For example, a thief can easily turn into a robber or a murderer,” he elaborated.
“They act spontaneously and even brutally in some cases.
“In the past, most criminals would run away whenever law enforcement officers appeared, but today they tend to fiercely fight back anyone who tries to stop them,” he continued.
The root of the problem, he underlined, is the large number of drug addicts in the city.
Quang did not give any statistics, but data gathered by Tuoi Tre shows that 35-40 percent of captured criminals are drug addicts.
Sixty percent of robbers in Ho Chi Minh City are drug addicts, according to the police department.
Vietnam had more than 222,500 known addicts, according a report released by the Ministry of Public Security in January 2018.
As an immediate solution, the Ho Chi Minh City police department will focus on increasing patrols of the mobile police force, criminal police, and traffic police, to tackle crimes, Quang said.