x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai police take on the summer surge in youth crime and blade battles

Take our poll: Police are surveying youth crime in Bur Dubai in an effort to understand and prevent the annual upsurge in juvenile offenders over the summer months.

Mohammed Hassan’s 13-year-old son Ali was stabbed and killed outside his home by a gang of teens in 2010.
Mohammed Hassan’s 13-year-old son Ali was stabbed and killed outside his home by a gang of teens in 2010.

DUBAI // Police are surveying youth crime in Bur Dubai in an effort to understand and prevent the annual upsurge in juvenile offending over the summer months.

Officers hope that by identifying which offences are most common in which areas they can better understand the motivation behind such crimes.

Colonel Ali Ghanem, director of the Bur Dubai Police station, said that case studies of offenders would also be used by officers carrying out the study. He said many first time offenders were motivated by peer pressure and lacked parental supervision.

The study is part of a security programme named "Shooting Star" aimed at combating the seasonal increase in crime over the summer period.

This is the third year the programme, which runs from July 1 to August 31, has taken place. In addition to juvenile crime the programme also targets bladed crime, illegal immigration and begging.

The four areas are dealt with by separate police teams. "For the juvenile crimes, patrols are deployed to monitor youth gatherings and disperse any potentially dangerous gatherings," said Col Ghanem. These patrols also aim to catch any youngster who may be carrying a bladed weapon.

"This is an area which we have been directed to concentrate on and we take this very serious," said Lt Colonel Turki bin Fares, deputy director of the Bur Dubai Police station.

There have been at least three high profile outbreaks of gang violence this year. Last week, two young men were injured and an 18-year-old died when two gangs clashed with knives and swords.

In 2009, 27 knife crimes were reported. A year later that figure rose to 81. Although there was a fall to 60 last year, police say the overall trend remains disturbing. Almost a third of all crimes registered last year involving knives were carried out by people under the age of 18.

Since 2010, Dubai Police have deployed patrols to catch youngsters with bladed weapons after a 13-year-old boy was stabbed to death of by a group of teenagers outside his home in Rashidiya.

wissa@thenational.ae