Safety concerns in gated communities

Residents complain against lack of security in their posh neighbourhoods

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
No Vandals, Please: Residents in gated communities are calling for greater security measures

Dubai Angry residents in Dubai’s gated communities are questioning the level of security in their localities following a series of break-ins, intrusions and vandalism recently.

Geeti Bhatnagar, a tenant in a plush five-bedroom villa in The Lakes, says she is disappointed with security in the community. “There are loopholes in the security here and they need to be plugged.”

Last December, her car was vandalised by supposedly teenage boys who smeared ketchup and ice-cream on the roof and the back of her car. They also broke eggs on it and on the door of her first floor balcony. “We called the security immediately and they informed us it might have been the work of a teenage prankster. They also told us that there had been a similar incident in another villa in The Lakes the same night.”

She has called for more patrolling in the night and installation of CCTV cameras on community streets.

Roberto Kauffmann, Chairman of the Lakes Owners Association Interim Board, said: “We are not aware of any recent thefts or break-ins. We, therefore, consider The Lakes to be a safe community. We remind residents about the risk of employing part or full-time help without sponsorship, and are working with Emaar Community Management (ECM) to implement a new access system.”

Meanwhile residents of the Springs, Meadows and Arabian Ranches have also complained of vandals roaming freely in their communities with cars, houses and even pedestrians being the prime targets.

Heena Sagar, owner of a five-bedroom villa in The Meadows, had a nasty shock one morning, when her red Honda coupe had its windscreen broken. “It was as if somebody had taken a big stone and smashed the glass with it!”

Last week her car was dented, scratched — and the bumper pulled off. “We are tired of this. Who is doing all this?” asked the angry resident.

But some say residents themselves are to blame for the intrusions.

“Illegal workers are often hired by the residents — whether it is a driver or a house help or a cook. Also many residents think living in Dubai is safe and forget to lock their main doors,” said a Lakes resident.

Kamal Kotecha, a 47-year-old British resident of Jumeirah Islands, said anybody can wave their hand up to the security at the entrance of the community and enter. “Anybody can claim to live in the community or work in the community — there is no check.”

A Nakheel spokesperson said: “Safety and security is paramount and in the normal course of operations, these arrangements are reviewed regularly across all Nakheel communities. In the interests of maintaining a secured community at all times, any incident reported is investigated, with appropriate action taken. Regarding Jumeirah Islands, anybody entering the community is asked to provide a cluster and villa number, and their car registration is being recorded.”

No comment was immediately availabe from Emaar.


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Just maybe, these teenage pranksters are residents of their own gated community.


31 January 2013 14:58jump to comments