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School bullies beware: You're being watched in Dubai

42 violence, negligence and bullying incidents since launch of programme

Image Credit: Supplied
Lt Colonel Saeed Rashid Al Heli, director of Child and Woman Protection Department in Dubai Police with the students.
Gulf News

Dubai: School campuses in Dubai have trained pairs of eyes and ears among the students, who actively patrol the campuses and report incidents of any violations, bullying or abuse.

Part of an initiative to improve the levels of safety in the campuses and classrooms, Dubai Police have launched a ‘Safety Ambassadors’ programme that has seen training of 72 students drawn from government and private schools to report any illegal activity.

According to Dubai Police, since the launch of the programme in 2016, the safety ambassadors have reported 42 cases of violence, negligence, abuse and bullying.

Safety ambassadors

Lt. Col Saeed Rashid Al Heli, director of Child and Women Protection Department in Dubai Police, said they have 72 students who work as safety ambassadors in government and private schools in Dubai to alert the authorities about any violations.

He did not elaborate on what action was taken in those 42 cases.

“The programme aims to support children and protect them against any harm and violence. The ambassadors educate fellow students about their rights and what to do if they face violence, negligence and abuse,” Lt Col Al Heli said.

Through the programme, students aged between six and 16 years are trained by Dubai Police to become the Safety Ambassadors. Once they qualify, the ambassadors get badges to wear on their arms that identify them as ‘Safety Ambassadors.’

Patrolling the schools, the Safety Ambassadors report any violations to the schools’ management, besides educating fellow students on steps to prevent violence, abuse and exploitation.

“If an incident is major then the school refers it to Dubai Police to take necessary action. Out of 42 incidents since 2016 and seven incidents were referred to us to find a solution. These incidents included negligence from parents and harming their children,” added Lt Col Al Heli.

In the event of physical assaults, police will register a case and refer the parents or any other perpetrator to the court or get a written undertaking from the parents on not repeating the violation.

Added protection to children

“The students for the programme were chosen by the schools and they were qualified, with the right skills to understand the problem. They are also in a position to educate other students about their rights. Our main aim is to stop the violence against children,” said Lt Col Al Heli.

Meanwhile, Brigadier Dr Mohammad Al Murr, director of the Human Rights Department of Dubai Police, praised the role of the programme that has helped in providing added protection to the children.

“Dubai Police is keen to protect children as they are the future of the country. We should protect them from violence, negligence and abuse to build their characters,” said Brigadier Al Murr.

 

Smart app

Dubai Police will soon launch a smart phone applications on App Store and Play Store that will help raise awareness among children about their rights and inform them about what to do and whom to contact for help.

 

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