Sharjah: The serious crime rate in Sharjah’s industrial areas has fallen 47 per cent, thanks to a targeted 'Safe Industrial Area' initiative, according to Sharjah Police.
The decrease follows ramped-up efforts, including the use of drones, to fight crime in these areas, Lieutenant Colonel Hilal Abdullah Al Suwaidi, head of the initiative, told Gulf News in exclusive interview.
Pointing out that the drop in cases has been witnessed over the past 20 months, he said Sharjah Police also achieved a 100 per cent success rate in arresting culprits involved in the crimes.
How the success has come about
He attributed the lower crime rate largely to a new mechanism that involves tracking movements of suspects previously involved in criminal activities.
Moreover, an awareness campaign about the security of various facilities in the 18 industrial zones besides Al Sajja has also paid off.
The campaign, which kicked off on December 9, 2020, aims to raise awareness among owners of industrial establishments about possible crimes and how they can be prevented.
Drones prove to be very useful
He said the police use drones for patrolling which have been very helpful in not only monitoring and identifying suspicious activities but also collecting evidence and other aspects of the investigation process.
“Drones can survey entire areas and provide maps and 3D images within minutes. These maps can then be used in the future in the event of any crime,” he said.
The official also pointed to how drones can aid in chasing down suspects. “When a suspect takes to the roof for example, it can be difficult for the ground units to know where he or she is. Having an eye in the sky with the help of the drones provides critical intelligence and guides the ground units to optimal positions,” he added.
Drones are also used to monitor gathering of trucks that cause pollution to the environment, besides other violations.
For a long time, surveillance has been known as an effective deterrent for crime. Drones today serve as the eyes of the police, searching the horizon for anything untoward, the official noted.
Surveillance cameras a must
Lieutenant Colonel Al Suwaidi stressed on the importance of installing high-quality surveillance cameras and fire alarm systems; hiring of qualified and well-trained security guards and securing a facility well at the end of the day.
Mandatory CCTV installations play an important role in preventing crime as they are linked to the police operation room, he said.
- Sharjah Police to deliver lost items to owners’ doorstep
- UAE: Sharjah Police roll out service centre on wheels to assist customers wherever they are
- Missing girl found by Sharjah Police
- Sharjah Police foil attempt to smuggle 216kg of drugs
- Hacker behind Dh2.8 million fraud caught red-handed by Sharjah Police
Sharjah Police in cooperation with Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also launched a year-long community awareness campaign in Sharjah’s industrial zones under the theme that safety is key to the success of a business.
A special team from Sharjah Police makes it a point to visit all premises in the industrial areas of Sharjah and educate owners about safety measures to protect their businesses.
Lieutenant Colonel Al Suwaidi urged business owners to report any negative phenomenon around their premises to the police. They can call toll free number Najeed at 800151 or contact the Guard service (via the police website or police smart application).
He said a model industrial zone that has also been set up in Sharjah Industrial Area No 10 by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) will be implemented in other industrial zones too.
The “Safe Industrial Area” initiative has also seen the clearing of 383 abandoned vehicles from the industrial areas. Besides, inspections were conducted in 202 shops and warehouses and suspicious activities acted upon in 12 areas.
The official said these actions were taken amid several challenges, including use of multiple languages and hi-tech.