Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 29 May 2020

Dubai Police cite inadequate security in local businesses

A police official said many companies install fake cameras in order to acquire a business licence without spending money on proper technology.
Col Abdul Rahim bin Shafi from Dubai Police was one of the speakers at the Middle East Security Conference at the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. Antonie Robertson / The National
Col Abdul Rahim bin Shafi from Dubai Police was one of the speakers at the Middle East Security Conference at the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // Police have warned business owners that installing fake security cameras to obtain operating licences may save money, but it leaves the door open to crime.

Col Abdul Rahim bin Shafi, director of Anti-Organised Crime at the Dubai Police and former director of Organised Crime at the Ministry of Interior, said many companies installed fake cameras that did not work or were of poor quality.

“They rent these types of items and when they get their licence they just return it,” he said at the Middle East Security Conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

“It saves them money. So they spend a lot of money on their business but they forget the safety and security aspect.

“CCTV cameras were very helpful in solving crimes such as the one with Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim or the Mabhouh case.”

Tamim was murdered in Dubai in July 2008, and Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, a Hamas commander, was assassinated in the city in January 2010.

Col bin Shafi said reliable security systems enabled police to more quickly respond to crime.

“Technology allows police to arrive on time, within three minutes, for people to feel comfortable, safe and relaxed,” he said. “But certain people still need to be aligned with this.”

He said bogus security set-ups were still a problem despite the fines that are imposed on businesses caught breaching the rules.

“In the end, we revoke their licence,” Col bin Shafi said. “This happens in different sectors where some are still hesitating to share our concerns, like in jewellery for example, and this jeopardises their safety and their lives.”

Too many residents also take safety in Dubai for granted.

“Some people leave their house doors open because they say Dubai is safe,” Col bin Shafi said. “People are very careless. It’s safe, but it’s not heaven.”

Dr Khalid Al Ageel, general secretary of the higher commission for security at Saudi Arabia’s ministry of interior, told the conference about problems facing industrial security in the region.

Dr Al Ageel said the oil, water and electricity sectors had to be protected against the threat of terrorism.

“These things are challenging,” he said. “We change our regulations with time because the threat is changing, so we have to be ahead of terrorist groups.”

Saudi Arabia is developing the skills of its almost 200,000 private security guards, Dr Al Ageel said.

“From oil to gas and petrochemicals, these are critical to our wealth,” he said. “It’s challenging to secure such facilities and make sure they remain operational.

“Interruption might lead to a quick change in oil prices and that puts challenges on us. We have 25,000 industrial security guards and they’re all very well trained.”

Dr Marc Seigel, commissioner of the global standards initiative at ASIS International, an organisation for security professionals, said more cooperation across different sectors was needed.

“The issues we have to deal with in security in both the private and public sectors continue to get more complex,” Dr Seigel said.

“Businesses will always try to achieve certain objectives so we need to develop tools and ways of better managing the issues we need to address.

“It would make international business and trade a lot easier if regional countries used the same system as other countries in the rest of the world, for example.”

cmalek@thenational.ae

Updated: February 17, 2015 04:00 AM

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