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
07 XPRESS

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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  • Ayes

    31-Jan-2013 11:51

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

  • Roula Al Jbour

    31-Jan-2013 11:06

    This is not only happening in Dubai. I live in a gated community in Abu Dhabi and we are suffering from the same problem. We have break insalmost every week, have had cars vandalised and many more issues. On topof all this, we also have pest problems, with rats everywhere, evencoming into the houses in some cases , not to mention very poorlymaintained facilities. The list is long but I would really like it if XPRESS covered our concerns too and published a story.

  • shanti

    31-Jan-2013 10:44

    The incidents are appalling, but it's not only for gated community, butevery community and neighbourhood face this problem. Gated communities areNO special in any way. Secondly, I guess the miscreants could NOT bepoor labourers or maids as per the guess, but purely the juveniles residing there.The young boys from high society / rich family do this as a TIME PASS orLEISURE may be as a competition. Who does the worst..... Why blame the poor who struggle to survive with the exceeding expenditure andcost of living? Let these high end gated community owners install sensor systems in their cars, the cost of which is just peanuts for them.

  • Oom

    31-Jan-2013 09:39

    I think the bigger concern is reckless drivers in these communities.People living in most of these communities drive as if they own the road or are driving szr.Also I think the vandalism is by a group of kids who live in thecommunity not people driving in to it just for the sake of vandalizing.

  • Saqib

    31-Jan-2013 08:32

    I can agree to the notion that hiring illegal residents has a risk oftheft but these poor people won't vandalize cars and property, rather theylive always a low profile life. So someone is out of his mind if he or she is blaming themfor it. I am sure it's a job of some ruined kids of the elites. Does anyoneknow about armed daylight burglaries in Discovery gardens and International City? It happened to my brother... Nobody has been caught yet. Iknow two other houses nearby with the same fate in Discovery Gardens.

  • Anthony Wilkinson

    31-Jan-2013 08:16

    The problem is that security is notenough. Obviously it's not working, but the developers won't doanything more than this because it costs them more. Should the police bepatrolling these neighbourhoods? Should the residents be responsible forthe safety patrols? All we know is that the existing measures are not enough!

  • Ashraf

    30-Jan-2013 23:15

    Is this a joke? People are being daily robbed, raped and murdered inSouth Africa in their homes. Just last night, a 37 year old man wasbrutally killed in front of his wife and kids. And you are worried abouteggs been thrown on your car. We pray to God everyday that we could haveleadership skilles like the rulers of the UAE. So I think it's best if people count their blessings.

Latest Comment

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

Ayes

31 January 2013 14:58jump to comments