Minister of Interior Major General Ahmed Gamal al-Din announced on Tuesday the ministry’s plan to bring back gendarmes to patrol neighborhoods as in the past, according to the Ministry’s website.
The ministry envisions small police units distributed in residential areas, equipped with the latest communication and transportation tools, allowing rapid movement to the scene of an incident.
Brigadier Ayman Helmy from the Ministry of Interior said details about the size of the unit, its equipment and mandate are still unclear.
“It’s still a proposed idea that needs more consideration,” he said.
Gamal al-Din said the reason behind the restoration of Gendarmes was the desire for a more effective security presence to make Egyptian citizens feel safe.
Gendarmes used to patrol Egyptian neighborhoods before the 1952 revolution, with every gendarme responsible for a block and armed with a shotgun or baton, according to Al-Ahram. Their only means of communication was a whistle used to raise the alarm of policemen in nearby blocks.
“In the past, the gendarme was known as the patrol officer, however, with the huge increase in population, we had a patrolling unit that consisted of about four officers in a car going around neighborhoods,” Brigadier Ayman Helmy said.
Helmy said the minister also addressed issues like traffic problems and street vendors during the meeting and called on citizens to cooperate with the police by adhering to laws and regulations and reporting violations.
Gamal al-Din also pointed to the decreased crime rate reported by the security statistics and promised more security campaigns. He said the ministry’s agenda went further than criminal offences, to problems resulting from recently observed negative behavior in Egyptian streets, saying these behaviors have a negative effect on Egypt’s image.