The Gilan Police Chief reports a seven-percent rise in robberies in the past 12 months and identifies rising prices and inflation as the major cause.

ILNA reports that Ebrahin Ghaed Rahmati, the head of the Gilan Police force, spoke to reporters about petty thefts in the province over the past year, saying “economic and social” factors have given rise to these activities in Gilan.

He cited the unprecedented hike in inflation and rising prices as the major cause of this increase in robberies and thefts.

He added that there has been a significant decline, however, in armed and violent robberies.

In December, the deputy head of the task force against robberies and special crimes announced that 93 percent of the police workload consists of robberies, which have risen by over 20 percent in the past year. He added that the average age of offenders in these cases is between 15 and 18.

The authorities have also reported a 43-percent increase in car thefts all across the country.

The Iranian economy has become highly unstable in the past year following the scrapping of government subsidies on energy and food staples coupled with widespread international sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial industry.