With the police and armed forces at full stretch, Egypt's prosecutor-general has called on citizens to lend a hand
The office of Egypt's prosecutor-general on Sunday stated that the police and the military should exercise their right to arrest those found committing acts of vandalism, adding that citizens, too, should use their right to make citizen's arrests.
"Destruction of public and private property, blocking roads and traffic, and preventing employees from going to work are all crimes," read the statement from the prosecutor-general's office.
"Anyone seen doing such things can be arrested by officials with arrest rights, while citizens should refer them to the nearest police station or to any official with arrest rights," the statement added.
"Egypt's prosecutor-general urges all citizens to exercise the right afforded them by Article 37 of Egypt's criminal procedure law to arrest anyone found committing a crime and refer them to official personnel," the statement went on.
Amid mounting domestic political turmoil and violence, especially between anti-government protesters and police, a number of police officers have been staging nationwide strikes since Tuesday.
Police officers' demands were first articulated in the canal city of Ismailia, when security forces refused to deploy in the nearby city of Port Said, where recent clashes have left hundreds injured and at least five dead, including security personnel.
Last Wednesday, some 8,000 police officers and recruits in 34 Central Security Forces camps in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and the cities of the Suez Canal joined the strike.
On Friday, an interior ministry official told Ahram Online that at least 60 police stations had joined the strike in several Egyptian governorates, including Cairo, Luxor, Gharbiya, Assiut, Menoufiya, Damietta, Mansoura, North and South Sinai and Mahalla.
Meanwhile, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Construction and Development Party and the Salafist Nour Party recently announced plans to form 'security committees' in several Upper Egyptian cities – including Minya – to replace police in the event that the strikes persist.