x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai Police chief warns of abuse of power

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim cautions that abuse of power by public servants was the fundamental cause of unrest in other Arab states.

DUBAI // The chief of Dubai Police has called on all his officers and staff to uphold the highest standards of integrity, and cautioned that abuse of power was the fundamental cause of unrest in other Arab states.

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim told an audience of senior officers, department heads and police station chiefs they must embrace a simple motto: I Am a Public Servant.

"The disorders and revolutions raised by the communities there are fundamentally due to the presence of public servants who abused the authority granted to them towards the public," Gen Tamim said.

"The accumulation of their abuse of power and a public that is suffering from performance failures created this revolutionary snap."

There were seven points of ethics to which Dubai Police must adhere, the chief said: honesty and truthfulness; integrity and transparency; justice and equity; proficiency at work; co-operation; good treatment; and recognising and rewarding individual contributions.

"Every member of staff, whether senior or junior, has to abide by these ethics," he said. "Our duty is to serve the public.

"These ethics are not new to us, but we have to act on them. In Dubai Police we follow them, but if we have a minute percentage that does not follow them, we have to strive for every last one of us to commit to it."

The lecture was delivered as part of an annual internal awareness campaign reinforcing Dubai Police values.

It came against a backdrop of recent high-profile cases involving the police. The family of Lee Brown, a British man who died in police custody, say he was abused before he died. And Dubai Public Prosecution last week charged 13 officers with torturing three suspects in an investigation, killing one.

Officials pointed out that the lecture and meeting had been planned for months and were not related to recent incidents.

Lt Gen Tamim said that in their commitment to improve the services provided to the public the police faced many questions and criticisms.

"No matter how small the size of the public service, a professional, ethical and compassionate approach must be taken with the public - this is what constitutes a solid basis for the stability of societies."

He said officers must be careful to avoid confrontation, no matter how unruly a member of the public might become.

"The law protects all. If a policeman issues a fine and the person refuses to sign it, walk away and register that the person refused to sign. There is no need to argue and enter into shameful behaviour.

"If you are abused or insulted, try to understand the reasons behind the person's anger. Do not engage in insults, as you can face legal ramifications. Use legal means to protect your rights."

No matter how much stress the job created, he said, officers should not let it affect their behaviour.

"The pressures of daily police work and public service should not allow us to negatively reflect our image and role in the public domain. We have to adapt to all our personal and professional issues and reflect a positive image to deliver a good service."

He called on his officers to dedicate all their time at work to serving the public, and to eliminate unnecessary delays.

"I do not want members of the public to go back and forth over days, because every time they are given a wrong direction for a task that could have been completed immediately."

He said personal preferences did not fit with public service. "Respect is commanded to all members of the public. We will serve any member as we serve the highest ranking official, and we will not allow any judgment of race, sex or nationality."

The campaign will continue with a series of interdepartmental lectures until May 26.