Dubai: Dubai’s Naif police have experienced a significant reduction of 51 percent in serious crime, thanks to the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that allows them to keep tract of “hot zones” and using surveillance drones. The station looks after the traditional shopping district of Dubai, including the world-famous Dubai Gold Souq.
Utilising unmanned aerial vehicles, law enforcement in Dubai is also actively combatting illegal activities, including the sale of banned materials and begging. The discreet aerial surveillance conducted by these drones has proven instrumental in preventing criminal incidents.
In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Major General Dr Tariq Mohammed Tahlak, the Director of Naif Police Station, highlighted the station’s advanced operational capabilities.
The station boasts a state-of-the-art operations room, distinguished as the first of its kind in the region. This cutting-edge facility harnesses AI technology to not only predict and anticipate potential criminal activities but also to identify “hot zones” where illegal activities are likely to occur.
The strategic deployment of AI in this operations room has significantly contributed to the success in curbing crime in the Naif area.
The technology has helped police detect many types of violations and suspicious or criminal activities, and also assisted them to capture wanted suspects.
“Over the past years, Naif Police Station has witnessed qualitative leaps in security, criminal, administrative, and traffic fields. They have also implemented many development programmes to ensure all strategic goals are achieved,” Maj Gen Dr Tahlak said.
“Naif is one of the most vital areas in Dubai, due to the density of shoppers, visitors and tourists. The area hosts many touristic and commercial attractions.”
The large area of Naif makes it challenging for policing, Maj Gen Tahlak said. Naif is one of the busiest commercial districts in Dubai, lined with exchange centres, banks, and shops, most notably the Gold Souk and Souq Murshid.
Over the past nine months of this year, Naif Police Station recording a decrease of 51 per cent in serious crimes.
Maj Gen Dr Tahlak said data analysis used to predict the behaviour of criminals, which makes it easier to track them down and achieve a decline in crime in the densely populated area.
“Programmes like smart data analysis, increased surveillance, quick response times by police patrols helped bring down the number of serious crimes. Police patrols are present round the clock in different areas, especially tourist attractions and markets,” he added.
The number of reports handled during the first three quarters of the current year reached 1,227, compared to 2,238 reports in the previous year over the same period, representing a 45 per cent decrease.
As for criminal reports, the number in the previous year was 224 - three of which were by unknown prepetrators. This year, there were 65 serious reports - only one was anonymous.
Maj Gen Dr Tahlak said they are informing the public and installing signboard that the area is being monitored by cameras.
The Naif Police Station, which looks after Dubai’s old commercial district, including the Gold Souq, has managed to solve serious crimes at a remarkable rate of 99.75 per cent, except for one unknown case — and the search for the thief is still ongoing.
In the jurisdiction of Naif Police Station, over the past nine months of this year, a total of 42,555 traffic violations (involving cars, motorbikes and bicycles) were recorded - compared to 36,959 violations in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, a total of 58 traffic reports were received by the centre over the past nine months compared to 53 traffic reports recorded in the same period of 2022.
The director praised the efforts made by police personnel and lauded their keenness on ensuring the safety of all road users through efficient deployment of patrols in the area.
Naif Police Station recorded an emergency response average time of 1.07 minutes - much faster than the target of three minutes - over the past nine months.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, the Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, praised the efforts exerted by the station’s employees and encouraged them to continue work with high efficiency and effectiveness towards enhancing the security and safety of the emirate.
Lt Gen Al Marri always visits the station to inspect their readiness and efforts to ensure safety in the jurisdiction area. He also praised the station for the distinguished level and efforts made to maintain road safety and deliver lectures to raise awareness among residents in the area.
Advice for public
Maj Gen Dr Tahlak advised the public not to deal in crpyto currency fads or any mysterious companies. He explained that some people make advertisements for fake companies that claim to sell digital currencies.
He also warned against people transferring large sums of money in an unsafe and unregulated way, thereby exposing them to fraud.
Though there has been “zero crime” in the gold markets of Naif in the past few years, the director urged gold exchange owners to perform maintenance on the alarm system, security cameras and locks.
Reuniting a family
Citing a specific case, he said Naif Police Station helped reunite a family separated because of disputes. The parents and two children had been separated for more than five years (including during the COVID-19 pandemic) as a result of a husband-wife feud.
The father went with one of his children, aged 12, to his homeland, leaving his wife and the other child aged 8 in the UAE. When he returned from Africa to Dubai after more than two years, he left his son with his family in his country and divorced his wife. The mother then resorted to Naif Police Station to help her find solutions that would guarantee her to live with her children.
Maj Gen Dr Tahlak, Director of Naif Police Station, directed the Victim Communication Programme (VCP) team to provide support in accordance with the legal requirements and procedures available to settle disputes that guarantee positive solutions for both parties.
The team contacted the child’s father and convinced him to visit the centre to reach an appropriate solution to the problem. The child’s father visited the centre, accompanied by his eldest son, after obtaining a visit visa for him.
Then the team contacted the child’s mother and informed her to visit the centre’s Victim Communication Division regarding her problem.
The child’s mother was persuaded to bring the other child so that the child’s father could see him, since he had lost vision in the right eye and wanted to see the other child for fear of losing his sight before undergoing eye surgery in his country.
Upon the arrival of all family members at the centre, they were received by the centre's director, along with the head of the Administrative Affairs Department, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Al Shehhi, as well as the VCP team.
The child’s father agreed to gather the two children and they would be accompanied by their mother and go with her after seeing his children in the intimate meeting that brought them together.
The family thanked the centre’s work team for the cooperation they received from the centre’s management.
The mother told Gulf News: “No words can describe my feeling and express my appreciation to Naif Police Station for what they did for me. I was in a difficult time and they helped turned my misery into joy. I have a big trust in Dubai Police, that’s why I approached them to solve my issue.”
The section recorded several such cases, in which all parties were contacted, and reconciled and their issues were successfully resolved. A room for children and women was set up at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The police officials in civilian clothes and a psychologist is present to deal with children who are sometimes caught in the middle of a family feud.