x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Female officers learn nitty-gritty of policing

Dubai considers all-female sniper and raid task forces.

Female police during training.
Female police during training.

Dubai // All-female units of Dubai Police are being trained in long-distance shooting and raiding targets.

The move is part of a proposal to set up all-female sniper and raid task forces which is currently under study by Dubai Police, according to a statement that the force released yesterday.

"The plan has been put on the table as the Emirati woman has proved her competence in the work of security despite the high level of danger accompanying this profession," said Captain Massoud Ibrahim, head of the female police unit at Dubai Police, which comes under the General Department of Organisations Protective Security and Emergency.

There are currently 34 officers in Dubai Police's female police unit. Last year it carried out 71 missions, the majority of which were to "receive and safeguard personalities", according to the statement.

Although it is unclear when the new security units will be set up, female officers have already started receiving training in distance shooting on both fixed and mobile targets, and are being taught how to raid places such as prisons.

They are also receiving training in areas that were previously confined to men, such as negotiating water barriers, fences, trenches and swamps, according to Captain Ibrahim.

However, for some female police officers, the main challenge is not the nature of the tasks they are given but people's attitudes towards them.

"One of the main challenges that we face during our work is unwillingness of members of the public, especially men, to follow our orders," said Naima Shukri, a female officer.

"We need to learn how to deal with such situations, but we are given a lot of support."

The female officers have learned how to go through their daily tasks while wearing the abaya.

"This development is important because now they can safeguard high profile personalities without attracting attention to them as they would be in abaya and thus be able to enhance security," said Captain Ibrahim.

wissa@thenational.ae