Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Coronavirus: Dubai Police to share pictures of 'reckless' residents breaching stay-home laws

A senior Dubai Police officer said tough action was necessary to safeguard public health

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A Dubai Police chief has hit out at "reckless" residents flouting the country's stay-home measures – and vowed to share pictures of those caught breaking the law.

Col Saeed Al Hajeri, director of the force's cyber crime division, said photos of offenders would be circulated to the media from this week in an effort to deter others from breaching restrictions on travel put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The senior officer said in a radio interview with Dubai Eye 103.8 that the stern response was necessary to ensure official instructions are followed.

He said members of the public who refuse to adhere to the directives or who are found to be mocking them online would face public scrutiny.

He said images of culprits would not be blurred or pixelated and that their publication could have stark implications for those caught out.

“We have seen many people who are not responsible and they don’t follow the humble requests from the government and the media to stay at home. These reckless people are not only not following the orders they also set an example for others to follow their steps," Col Al Hajeri said.

“That is why the leadership decided to take the next level and to publish their photos without blurring their photos in the media starting from this week.

“They might not get hired for jobs because they are irresponsible.

“People think that it is a type of sense of humour to send some jokes, however this can lead to a snowball effect and let other people follow their steps and disrespect the authorities, instructions and the law enforcements.

“So the law gives us the authority to guarantee that instructions are being followed.”

He said that people who don’t obey self-isolation practices will face hefty fines.

“If you are holding a private celebration or public the management of that facility will have fines of Dh10,000 and the participants will have fines of Dh5,000,” Col Al Hajeri said.

“Visiting healthcare facility unnecessarily will subject you to Dh1,000 fine and leaving home for unnecessary reasons also will have a fine of Dh2,000.”

“Necessary needs mean medicine or food.”

Failing to wear a mask while having flu symptoms or any other medical issues will be punishable with a Dh1,000 fine.

“All of these laws have been issued recently,” Col Al Hajeri said.

“At this stage, social responsibility is the most important aspect. I encourage the people to have social responsibility even in the social media.

“We worry about the youth, the people who are not aware about the situation that might go outside and socialise with others which can overwhelm the healthcare infrastructure and services, which we will not allow.

“We encourage the community to report any reckless behaviour through Dubai police apps or call 901 or 999 and we will take action.”

Dubai has stepped up restrictions on travel this week.

Residents must now apply for a permit to leave the home – and only for essential trips.

Mask and gloves should be on at all times while only one member of a household will be allowed to leave the home at any given time.

Updated: April 9, 2020 08:57 PM

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