x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Police call shoppers to anti-drug exhibits

Sirens attract the curious ... and instead of finding an emergency situation, they're encouraged to get fit and stay away from drugs.

AL AIN // Sirens have been blaring from Al Ain Mall's top floor since Sunday. But instead of an emergency in progress, the curious found a very different scene: smiling police officers and exhibits aimed at promoting personal fitness and explaining the dangers of drugs. Police taking part in the No to Drugs, Yes to Sports campaign approached adults and children and invited them over to the booths.

Awad al Balooshi, 14, was startled at first when approached by an officer, but after seeing the exhibits he walked away with an Al Ain Police Directorate coffee mug. "I saw the policeman coming towards me and got worried," he said. "But then he smiled and invited me to come see the exhibits. My favourite was the Customs exhibit which showed the different methods people use to smuggle drugs." Prizes, including hats, T-shirts and toys, were distributed to a few lucky children who correctly answered questions about the campaign.

At an Al Ain Hospital stand, nurses took visitors' blood pressure and measured their blood sugar, weight and height. They advised many to quit smoking and start exercising. Attracting a great deal of attention was a new T3Motion police scooter, recently introduced into the Al Ain Police motor pool to allow community police officers to patrol parks and malls. Traffic police also were on hand to discuss the dangers of jaywalking and to advise motorists to ensure their vehicles were fitted with roadworthy tyres.

"This campaign has been successful in that it reached out to members of the community to teach them about the dangers of drugs, the importance of sport, and the efforts of the community police," said Lt Hamad al Dhaheri, acting head of the Al Ain community police division. The campaign will continue until Wednesday, from 10am to noon and from 5 to 9pm. ealghalib@thenational.ae