Renewed focus on road policing as force enters new phase
Abu Dhabi force to relaunch with new identity, uniforms and badges
Abu Dhabi Police will be rebranded and relaunched as a force, complete with new uniforms and American-style shield badges.
The force will also become a separate law enforcement body from the Ministry of Interior, which oversees the emirates' police forces.
Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi said the number one focus will be tackling a culture of bad driving, which he said police campaigns and messages to the public have failed to fully tackle.
“Traffic safety is the main issue we face. There are too many traffic accidents and that is because people do not following traffic rules," he said at an event that unveiled the logo yesterday.
“We have talked a lot to the public and have done a lot of awareness but still people do not obey to the rules.”
Nationwide, the number of people killed in traffic accidents increased from 675 in 2015 to 725 last year, reversing a downward trend. Almost half were caused by drivers aged between 18 and 30. Tougher penalties and a mandatory seatbelt law that campaigners have long called for were brought in on July 1.
Maj Gen Al Romaithi said there is little choice but to resort to an even tougher response, which he said would be outlined in the coming months.
“We will have to put very strict rules so we can reduce the number of accidents and deaths, if it will save lives we will do it," he said when asked about stricter punishments.
“Our mandate is to secure Abu Dhabi and to save lives - this is our core business."
As part of the organisational changes, officers will carry US-style badges, in the form of a flip-case featuring a silver shield and an identity card.
The police chief said there is a need to ensure that the IDs cannot be faked. This follows a number of well-publicised court cases in which criminals have posed as police officers, including the plain-clothed CID officers.
“They will start to have badges that are not possible to fake," the major general said, which was released to the public.
“As you know Abu Dhabi Police is now part of the Abu Dhabi Government, so we put all of our forces together for a new identity.
“So we changed the colours of the logo, and the cars and uniform to stand out as a police agency.”
New patrol cars will be introduced in September, and the new uniform in November, he added.
“It does not mean that changing the emblem will change our work, our quality of work will remain as it is. It was good with the old emblem and it will continue to be good.”
The logo's frame is the same as the one used by the first Abu Dhabi Police force which was formed in 1957.
Along with the new police image, will come a new police music band.
“This band is different. The old one was for official military events, whereas this will be embedded with the police," he said.
Through the band, Abu Dhabi Police are aiming to provide an additional service to the community and to enhance public engagement with the force.
“They will be present in social events. They will play symphonies and some classical Arabic music," he said.
The force has undergone significant changes over the years and this year took on more than 1,000 members of the public, Emiratis and expats, as community police officers.
Participants serve as first responders, would direct traffic in the event of an accident would help out in major public events. The We Are All Police drive has seen a huge response from the public since its launch in September 2016, with another 5,000 applicants to be processed in the near future.