Dubai: Dubai residential communities have recorded a 15 per cent drop in criminal reports, thanks to the ‘Policeman in Your Neighbourhood’ initiative.
Colonel Aref Ali Bishoh, Director of the Crime Prevention Department at the General Department of Criminal Investigation, said that ‘Policeman in Your Neighbourhood’ is one of the Dubai Police’s community initiatives that serve as a liaison between the police and members of the public by addressing security, reducing the crime rate, following up on community reports and helping people in residential districts.
Launched in 2013 by the Crime Prevention Department at the General Department of Criminal Investigation, the ‘Policeman in Your Neighbourhood’ initiative has handled 1,400 cases over the last two years. The initiative runs on a prevention methodology that addresses issues head-on, improves services, provides reports on infrastructure to concerned authorities when necessary, and organises activities and after-school programmes and workshops to raise youth awareness.
Col. Bishoh confirmed that the initiative’s team had contributed effectively to spreading security awareness among residents and building a positive community relationship by establishing a strong communication channel to receive complaints and resolve disputes amicably.
“Dubai Police was keen on continuously developing the initiative by reviewing international best practices of community policing initiatives in Japan, France, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States, to improve the initiative’s mechanism, qualify officers’ and determine the scope of authority and jurisdiction,” he added.
Meanwhile, Captain Hmmoud Muhammad Al-Muqbali, Head of the Community Police Department in the Crime Prevention Department, pointed out that the initiative has attracted more than 800 volunteers from Dubai Police. Since the volunteers are expected and assigned to work directly with their neighbours, they were chosen based on language skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, and teamwork skills.
Al-Muqbali added that ‘Policeman in Your Neighbourhood’ teams have participated in 15 events and occasions and handled several humanitarian cases over the years.
“Our volunteers had taken a case for a 14-year-old who asked the police for help to resolve family conflicts she had been going through. With care, the concerned authorities solved her problem and engaged Dubai Foundation for Women and Children to follow up on her case with her family,” he said.
“The initiative also returned an Asian five-year-old boy to his family after he got lost from his house in one of Dubai’s neighbourhoods,” he continued.
“The department also helped 480 construction workers in Al Barsha and Al Khawaneej by distributing cold water and beverages amid severe heat,” Al-Muqbali added.