Sharjah: By 2020, every nook and corner of Sharjah will be under surveillance as the police aims to install more security cameras across the emirate for crime prevention and detection.
Backed by a decree from the Executive Council, the police, in collaboration with Sharjah Municipality, is also urging building managements to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at the entrance and exit points of all commercial establishments and residential towers, senior officials said.
“In 2020, Sharjah will be fully covered by security cameras in a comprehensive manner,” said Brigadier Mohammed Rashid Bayat, director general of Police Operations.
“In the final phase [of the project], we will be able to connect all shopping malls, currency exchanges and other commercial establishments with the security department,” the officer said while addressing a Foreign Media Forum held last week.
Colonel Dr Ali Bu Al Zoud, deputy director-general of Central Operations, said police is also using the visuals from the security cameras to catch traffic violations.
“Every single day, we are catching 1,000 to 1,500 traffic violations based on [the recordings from] these cameras,” he revealed.
Earlier, Brigadier Bayat said the police have installed 600 security cameras for surveillance in prime locations of crowded areas like Al Nahda, which was chosen for the launch of a ‘Safe Neighbourhood’ campaign last month.
Additional 24/7 police patrols and community awareness drives among commercial establishments are also being undertaken. Commercial establishments are being urged to install CCTV cameras and not leave large amounts of cash in shops.
Reduction in crimes
With these efforts, the campaign has resulted in a major reduction in crimes in the Al Nahda area, said Brigadier Bayat. “We had no major complaints registered from Al Nahda last week. If this model proves successful, we will extend this drive to other areas of Sharjah to achieve our goal of making crime-free communities.”
The police is also planning to achieve a response time of 7.5 minutes, down from nine minutes, to attend to seven types of major crimes, including street fights and gun attacks. To cut down the response time in case of traffic accidents, police is also dividing the areas in the emirate into four zones to enable quick dispatching of teams.
With the implementation of their performance accelerators, the officials said, Sharjah has seen a gradual reduction in major crime rates in the emirate.
“From 62 per cent in 2016, the rate of major crimes reached 58.8 per cent in 2018. By the end of 2019, we are trying to achieve a goal of further two per cent reduction in major crimes,” said Brigadier Bayat.
About 60 per cent of major crimes and traffic accidents in Sharjah are committed by Asian expatriates, officials said, attributing the reason to the high number of the emriate’s residents from the Asian countries.
Officials said they also held meetings with Asian community members, highlighting the figures of road accident fatalities. They urged media houses to spread awareness about common violations committed by expatriates.
Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for a crime-free society
Obey traffic rules and follow laws of the land.
Give way to police patrols and ambulances.
Call 999 only for emergencies.
Call 901 for non-emergencies.
Stay away from illegal sellers of phone SIM cards on the streets.
Do not support beggars and hawkers.
Don’t fall prey to raffle scams.
Never share bank account and credit card details with anyone.
Do transactions only with legitimate and secure websites.
Do not trade in Bitcoin as it is not legally approved in the UAE.
600 security cameras installed in prime locations
Up to 1,500 traffic violations caught on cameras daily