DUBAI // Dubai’s police chief yesterday joined calls for a specific law against carrying bladed weapons such as swords and knives.
Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim spoke out after three outbreaks of gang violence in which one young man died and several were injured. “A law criminalising the possession for bladed weapons is a must for solving the problem,” Gen Tamim said yesterday.
“A law that criminalises those who keep such weapons in their cars needs to be there.
“Anyone caught with a knife or a sword and who has a criminal record should be referred to court. This could be a solution to combat the practice, but it is difficult to do so without the existence of the law. The lack of such a law could make it difficult to prevent such crime.”
Police also hope to curb gang violence by establishing dedicated recreational areas where young people can channel their energies constructively.
The initiative is part of an expanded social role in which police will encourage positive activities for young people in residential areas to discourage youth violence, Gen Tamim said.
“We are planning to improve our social presence in these areas so they can feel our presence. We are also in talks with Dubai Municipality to discuss the setting up of a football stadium in the area to channel young people’s energy in a positive way.”
There have been at least three serious outbreaks of gang violence this year, including the case of Mohammed Ebrahim, a 21-year-old Emirati bank employee who was attacked by six people armed with axes and butcher’s knives as he met a friend outside his house in Al Quoz. In the latest incident this month two young men were injured and an 18-year-old died when two gangs clashed with knives and swords.
Youth violence has not become a trend, but it is a problem in the city, Gen Tamim said.
He spoke after announcing the result of a random survey of 2,050 people, showing that 98.6 per cent feel safe and secure in Dubai. Almost everyone – 99 per cent – considered the crime risk in the emirate to be low.
The survey was carried out by the coordination committee for research and decision-making centres in the country, which is overseen by the Ministry of Interior.
The nationwide survey was an effort to gauge the public’s sense of security and satisfaction with the police.
The study, a random survey of various nationalities, also found that 96 per cent felt safe when they took a taxi at night.
Ninety per cent of men surveyed said they were not afraid of walking alone at night.
As many as 96.4 per cent felt that police efforts to prevent crime were sufficient, and 98.6 per cent thought there were enough police patrols on the road.
However, only 77 per cent thought police officers were vigilant, 84.8 per cent thought they were qualified and 85.5 per cent viewed officers as objective. Of those surveyed, 86.9 per cent considered police to be polite, and 91.1 per cent considered them to be understanding.
The survey was conducted over a six-month period. Participants were randomly selected in malls, parks and work places.
Sixty-seven per cent were residents, 26 per cent Emiratis and the rest tourists. Men made up 70.5 per cent. The largest age group surveyed was between 18 and 28, making up 44 per cent of the total.
Although the survey was carried out for all police forces, only Dubai Police announced their results yesterday.
“The survey is for all the country, but it does not lie within my mandate to announce the results for the others’ forces,” said Gen Tamim. “However, all the forces yielded good results.”
The survey also reflected Dubai’s crime rates, which the police chief reviewed this week: serious crimes registered a drop in the last quarter compared with the same period last year.
Police have not released specific figures.
“We do not have any serious crime trends developing in the city,” Gen Tamim said.