NAT FILE SHJ POLICE-1607863172233
An Anjad patrol in Sharjah. Sharjah Police have urged the public to look for signs that mark a real police officer. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Sharjah: Sharjah Police have launched an awareness campaign to counter the problem of police impersonators. This comes in light of several impersonators being arrested for pretending to be police officers.

The campaign called “Be careful before you fall prey to fraud’ aims to spread awareness among all community members of the danger of police impersonators. Most of the police impersonators were Asian and they posed as policemen to rob money, mobile phones and other valuables.

Colonel Omar Sultan Bualzod, Director of the Criminal and Investigations Department, said these impersonators targeted people mainly in the industrial areas of Sharjah and also in other areas.

The campaign will educate and inform community members on how best to protect themselves and how each individual needs to know the difference between the real and fake police. Sharjah Police want all community members to know what to look for and who to call in case they are ever confronted by an imposter.

Sharjah Police have registered several cases of police impersonation during the year.

Col Bualzod said, “It does not stand as a phenomenon compared with the crime rate, which declined significantly, but it neverthless needs to be highlighted to educate the public of the dangers of such criminals and urge them to report such cases to the police for the welfare of the community.”

Colonel Omar Sultan Bualzod

Sharjah Police have urged the public to look for signs that mark a real police officer. “Police officers will carrying a picture ID that has their name, a personnel number and they need to produce this evidence when you ask for it,” said Col Bualzod. This information, he said, is important to know so as to not become a victim of an impersonator. Police officers will be known by their uniform as well as their badge and police ID.

Col Bualzod said: “We found out that the suspects were targeting people who did not have adequate knowledge about the legal procedures taken by the police or those who did not ask them for their police identity card.”

He called on residents to always ask for identification when someone claimed to be from the police. Police officers, he said, never ask people to show their wallets or demand money. Col Bualzod called on people who come across such violations to report the matter to the police. Police do not inspect anyone except under exceptional circumstances or by authorisation of the public prosecutor. The police may ask the suspect for his identity card, driving licence and vehicle registration or for some other proof for a reason.

If you are unsure of the identity of the individual who claims to be from the police, call 999 or reach the nearest police station and report the incident, he advised.

Reporting crimes

Members of the public can report crimes or suspicious individuals to Sharjah Police by calling 999 or 80040 or the toll-free number Najeed 800151, or they can text 7999 or via the Sharjah Police website.

Col Bualzod said all this information will be given to the public on internal and main roads and highways in Sharjah city, and mainly the industrial areas, through brochures and booklets published in Arabic, English and Urdu.

Police said when a person commits this kind of a crime, he is also looking for an appropriate means to escape as impersonating a police officer is more dangerous than any other form of impersonation. Such a crime, police said, may be motivated by material gain in the form of theft or fraud, or even by a sense of revenge against the victim.