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Police vehicles have been fitted with cameras which are linked to the operations room. File photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit:

Dubai:  New mobile cameras to monitor accidents have been installed on patrol vehicles, said a top police official.

At a press conference held on Sunday, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police, announced the implementation of cameras on patrol units with 160 police vehicles having already been fitted out.

The cameras are linked to the operations room. Both the duty officer in the operations room and the officer driving the vehicle can operate the camera.

"As soon as the police officer starts the engine, the camera automatically films. The duty officer at the operations room can have access to watch live footage of any of the installed cameras in addition to controlling it," said Lt Gen Dahi. The purpose of this device is to have live footage of traffic accidents and to enhance the decision-making of the officers at the operations room.

"The footage will give them a clear image and magnitude of the accident. The footage is also recorded and saved in the archive, he said. The film could be used as a teaching tool for students at the police academy, for awareness campaigns in schools, and as evidence in courts, said Lt Gen Dahi.

The technology was launched in 2008 and was put on trial for months. The first 160 cameras were installed in June of 2009. This year 100 additional cameras will be installed.

When asked if this device could be used as a monitoring device to ensure that officers were carrying out their duties, he said: "This mentality and philosophy already exists among the officers. They have learned from experience how vigilant we are about them following the rules."

He said a police officer was caught out when he was assigned to patrol an area close to Abu Dhabi, but the system continuously showed he was stationed in Al Karama.

"We ordered for the matter to be investigated. When the police officer was asked about his location he lied saying he was in his area of duty. When a patrol unit was sent to Al Karama, his vehicle was seen parked there," he said, adding that police officers were now more aware.