Four men and a woman sustained serious injuries in four separate incidents of violence in Malé City on Monday and Tuesday, the Maldives Police Services have said.
The first incident took place near the Eid Mosque in Maafannu ward around 7:40pm. Muggers attacked a pedestrian from the back and demanded he hand over his mobile phone. The man was hit on the back of his head, police said.
Minutes later at 7:45pm, two men were attacked in Malé’s suburb Hulhumalé Island near Flat no. 60. One of the men was stabbed in the shoulder and the other was stabbed in his head, the police said.
At 8pm, two masked men on motorbikes stabbed a 23-year-old woman in the back in front of a known gang hangout at the junction of Kalhuhuraa Magu and Husnuheena Magu in Malé. The ADK Hospital in Malé said the woman had suffered serious injuries.
An 18-year-old was also stabbed in the back in Heinveiru ward of Malé at 8:40pm on Monday.
All five have been hospitalised.
Police said they do not know if the attacks were connected and declined to reveal further details.
According to the police no arrests have been made yet. However, police have confiscated a motorbike in connection with the attack on two men in Hulhumalé.
Police statistics reveal 95 incidents of assault reported in July alone. The number brings up the total number of assault cases to 697 this year. Approximately 1500 cases of assault are reported annually in the Maldives, of which a majority occur in Malé.
A 2009 study by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has identified a weak criminal justice system to be the root cause of high crime rates in the Maldives. The HRCM said delays in court processes, failure by law enforcement agencies to implement sentences and failure to prosecute drug traffickers also contribute to growing crime rates.
The study also highlighted social factors such as a housing crisis, lack of employment opportunities, and lack of entertainment facilities for young people as a driver of crime.
Approximately 43 percent of respondents in the HRCM survey said they did not feel safe in their Malé homes, while 63 percent said they do not feel safe walking alone on the streets of Malé during daylight hours.