Dubai: A total of 6,578 wanted cars were caught by Dubai Police via their new mobile camera system installed in all police patrol vehicles, police said on Tuesday.
Brigadier Khalid Al Merri, deputy director of communication affairs in the Operations Department of Dubai Police, speaking at a session of the 11 Best Police Practices Forum, said the new camera system helped track down a number of wanted cars by identifying the plate numbers.
“Our new camera system helped catch 6,578 wanted cars in 2016 compared to 5,963 wanted cars in 2015. These numbers [of cars] were wanted not just for bank loan defaults but also for a range of traffic violations.”
However, the total number of all wanted cars in Dubai last year was 95,000.
Of these, police statistics show that 1,200 cars were confiscated for defaulting on car loan payments to banks.
The total value of wanted cars for loan defaults which were seized stood at Dh505280,000, Brigadier Al Merri said. “It’s money returned to the UAE’s economy,” he added.
“The large number of wanted cars is a big problem in Dubai,” Brig Al Merri said. “We invented this mobile camera system over the last three years to tackle this problem. Dubai Police are the first police department in the region to use such a system,” he added.
The total number of wanted car reports in Dubai between 2013 until the end of 2016 was 288,000.
The mobile camera system installed in all police patrol vehicles which cover Dubai has 12 cameras called Autonomy, which check all parked and moving cars. When the system identifies a wanted car, it alerts the policeman and sends the images to the command centre to confirm the car plate number. “This system reduces time and effort in catching the wanted cars. As soon as the mobile camera system identifies the car, it only take three seconds to confirm the car,” Brigadier Al Merri said.
Before 2013, this task was arduous, as it meant police personnel would have to carry a big file around with them, identifying the wanted cars and writing a note to the command centre. “It was a difficult way to deal with the problem. But with the new technology, we have managed to catch more wanted cars in a much shorter time.”
Dubai Police are planning to install the cameras on police motorbikes and drones.
“We are still in the early stages of this idea because the system is heavy for a drone. We are trying to find solutions,” Brigadier Al Merri added.