Commuters at the Khalid Bin Al Waleed station. Police made 42 arrests for small crimes at the station in 2011. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News archive

Dubai With a crime rate of 1.5 per million trips in 2011, Dubai Metro has become one of the safest means of public transport in the world, surpassing world-renowned railways in the US and Europe, it was announced Thursday.

The Boston and Atlanta railways registered 7.6 crimes per million trips in 2011, followed by Chicago with 12.3 and London with 13. The crime rate on Dubai Metro saw a 61.43 per cent drop from 3.89 crimes per million trips in 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Atiq Thani, Director of Dubai Police's Transport Security Department, said.

Speaking at a ceremony to honour distinguished employees and cooperating departments and establishments, Lt Col Thani said the four-year-old department now covers public buses and marine transport, as well as Dubai Metro.


Police made 862 arrests for small crimes committed on the Metro in 2011, and Ittihad Square topped the list of arrests with 134 followed by City Centre with 123, Rashidiya with 117, Karama with 51, Khalid Bin Al Waleed with 42 and Mall of the Emirates station with 40 arrests.

The highest number of arrests was made by Corporal Mariam Matar, a policewoman who arrested 43 people in 2011, Lt Col Thani said.

"Most cases are simple crimes like pick-pocketing and small thefts caught on the security cameras or reported by travellers," he said, adding that the Metro is being monitored by 4,700 cameras.

Other than thefts, the department deals with all kinds of offences and emergencies that may occur on public transport vehicles.

"We have many reports of people fainting or suffering from health problems while on the Metro, especially during peak hours and weekends when conditions are over crowded, and in such cases an ambulance is called immediately and supervisors are instructed on how to take immediate action," he said.

Cases of sexual harassment were very few and far between since the Metro started operations three-and-a-half years ago, and are also easy to track through the security cameras, which are linked to the operations room in Rashidiya. During its years of service, the department carried out seven drills on the Metro, including bomb drills.

"We have never received a bomb report, but if we find any luggage left behind, we treat it as a security threat and take necessary procedures until it is proven clear, after which the luggage or items left behind are taken to the Lost and Found section," he said.

With around 370,000 passengers using the Metro every day, Lt Col Thani said items left behind are not a rare occurrence.

"We deal with at least 30 to 40 cases every day," he added.