x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

A bank lesson

What is odd is that the bank robbery took place in Sharjah. Crimes like this are not supposed to happen in the UAE, one of the safest places in the world.

In cinematic terms, it was not much of a bank robbery. No flashing of pistols and tommy guns, no panicked customers diving to the floor, no screams or shouted commands. Two masked men simply walked into a bank on Tuesday afternoon, brandished a knife and a hammer at five bank employees, and walked away with Dh500,000. What is odd is that the bank robbery took place in Sharjah. Crimes like this are not supposed to happen in the UAE, one of the safest places in the world. The largely crime-free, drug-free environment is a major inducement for many expatriate families to settle here.

But we must not take our security for granted. Our highly efficient police force may well succeed in tracking down the two bank robbers, though nothing is certain. In March, a private security guard at Noor Islamic Bank ATM in Buhairah was shot in the leg by criminals who escaped with Dh450,000. They are still at large. This is far from a crime wave, but the price for our safety must be constant vigilance. Had the Sharjah bank employees sounded the alarm earlier, the robbers may well have been caught. A well-trained civilian workforce will go a long way toward deterring future crime.