Former Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed has criticised Ahmed Shifan, the spokesperson of the Maldives Police Service (MPS), for attributing a recent rise in crimes in the Malé region to decisions made by the previous government led by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). Hameed, who led the police force under the MDP administration, voiced his disapproval of Shifan’s comments, highlighting the inappropriateness of such statements from a police spokesperson.

The controversy began when Shifan publicly linked the uptick in crime to the MDP’s governance, sparking widespread criticism from various quarters, including the public and the MDP itself. The party strongly criticised Shifan’s claims, dismissing them as “baseless” and “politically motivated.”

Hameed stressed the detrimental impact of Shifan’s remarks on the police’s reputation and public trust in the institution’s ability to fulfil its duty with fairness and professionalism. He labelled the comments “irresponsible” and unbecoming of someone representing the MPS.

The former Police Commissioner also condemned the broader issue of government interference in the parole and clemency process, arguing that it has been a recurring problem regardless of the political party in power. He stressed the importance of handling parole and clemency with legislative care and responsibility, pointing out the need for a balanced approach to crime and punishment.

“It is a paradoxical notion to hold that individuals who commit crimes must invariably be incarcerated. Parole and clemency are governed by a legislative framework, and this framework must be applied with utmost responsibility,” said Hameed.

Addressing the challenges faced by law enforcement, the former commissioner urged the MPS to focus on fostering responsibility and accountability rather than deflecting blame onto others. He expressed disappointment in the actions of individual officers and institutions, including those in senior government positions, for failing to address injustices within the system adequately.

“It is disheartening that those in elevated positions of governance are observed to be engaging in such [unjust] deeds. The paramount issue is that within an entity tasked with serving the people across all echelons, there exists a lack of genuine resolve to confront those perpetrating unjust actions,” Hameed stated.

Hameed’s remarks followed an investigative report by local media outlet Adhadhu, which shed light on the recent surge in crimes in the Malé region.