A video of a woman being robbed in broad daylight in Malé has raised concerns about safety and security in the Maldives capital.
The video posted on Twitter shows two men on a motorbike overtaking a female motorcyclist and attempting to snatch her handbag. When they are unable to do it, the bike parks in the middle of the road and the passenger assaults the woman, pushing her away, before snatching the bag and fleeing. People are seen watching the incident but not intervening.
A headline on Mihaaru about the 19-second video reads: “Daylight robbery! No one to stop it!” The article also describes another video in which a young man is seen lifting a wallet from another man’s bag.
A police spokesman confirmed to the Maldives Independent that both incidents of theft were being investigated. In a tweet police urged people to refrain from sharing such videos on social media.
But people criticised the police for failing in their duty to protect the public. The criticism intensified when Maldives Police Service tweeted pictures of hundreds of officers and soldiers joining a march on the newly opened Sinamalé bridge.
One man who replied to the tweet about the march suggested police should instead go after those involved in knife fights in the capital.
A teenager was killed on Saturday after being stabbed near the restricted ‘green zone’ of the capital, a short distance from the police and military headquarters.
The fatal stabbing was the third attack in Malé during the past week amid a resurgence of gang violence.
Police on Tuesday arrested an 18-year-old in connection with the murder, after he handed himself in.
A video seen by the Maldives Independent shows young men accompanying the teen into the police station. Some of them are heard consoling him, telling him not to be worried.