Teamwork and far-sightedness have helped the Electronic Services Department achieve success beyond ordinary levels.

According to Colonel Ahmad Hamdan Bin Dalmook, Director of Dubai Police's Electronic Services Department, the department boasts strong infrastructure and applications.

"This development serves the general strategy of Dubai Police. The initiative from His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is to make at least 90 per cent of all our services electronic by the year-end," he said.

"We will try our best and achieve more, but 90 per cent is our goal for this year," he says.

Colonel Bin Dalmook, who believes in the freedom of technology, says, "One should take risks to reach high levels. Our management has confidence in us and always encourages us to be creative."

Tracing computer history

Computers were introduced in Dubai Police in 1985 as part of the old traffic system, which was operated on basic functions of registering and renewing car registrations and issuing driving licenses.

In 1986, computers were introduced in the Criminal Investigation System, wherein the daily chores included registering cases, fighting the drug menace and following up of wanted vehicles.

"We were the first to include the method of checking fingerprints in the criminal investigation system in 1994," says Joseph Samaha of the Electronic Services Department of Dubai Police.

"In 1996, the concept of 'department without papers,' was created; it was then limited to only two departments. Finally in 1999, Dubai Police launched its website.

"The website was a humble beginning. Initially its services were simple and limited because internet was newly introduced," Samaha says.

Past and future

The Electronic Services Department of Dubai Police was launched in 2001, when the Chief of Dubai Police suggested connecting all the departments to one electronic department as every department by then already had its own IT system.

The department will add new electronic services, such as displaying all up-to-date traffic transactions, fine inquires and payment for GCC countries, issuing online to-whom-it-may-concern certificates lost outside the UAE, and following up of applications made through the internet.
Current online services

The current online services of the Electronic Services Department include fines and violations, vehicle licensing, driving licensing, driving test, security services and miscellaneous services.

The fines and violations section includes traffic file-deserved payments, traffic fine inquiry through SMS, traffic fines inquiry and payment and traffic file status.

Vehicle licensing sections include issuance of vehicle ownership certificates, clearance certificates, to-whom-it-may-concern certificates, tourism certificates and delivery of found-vehicle registrations.

Driving test services include changing exam appointment, traffic sign tests and information on driving tests. Security services include home safety, "let-us-fight crime" and tourist complaint services.

Miscellaneous services include e-mailing forms, SMS services and job applications.