(MENAFN - Arab News) The chief of the Makkah police department said preparations for the Umrah season had started early, a local newspaper reported.
"We take into account all aspects of the mataf expansion and of the areas and plazas surrounding the Grand Mosque, so that Makkah visitors and pilgrims can perform their holy rituals in a reassuring atmosphere of faith," Brig. Ibrahim bin Mohammad Hamzi said.
Hamzi explained that his administration prepared all comprehensive and integrated security and traffic plans by the coordination of all systems and teams that work in the relevant military and civilian authorities, such as the special force for the security of the Grand Mosque, traffic department, the branch of the Ministry of Haj, and all other related departments.
"The Umrah season security plan extends to the next holy month of Ramadan," he said, stressing that the plans focus on three main themes: maintaining the criminal security side and public order, the security and safety of pedestrians in the central region, and the organization of traffic.
He confirmed that support teams of administrative control are available as well, along with secret investigation teams that are located around the clock.
"In addition, we increased the numbers of security forces at peak times, such as Friday nights and days, and the mid-semester school leave that begins on March 7, so as to combat negative phenomena such as taking the streets, street vendors and beggars, and pickpocket gangs that take the Umrah season as an opportunity for their practice," he concluded.