x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Police 'revolution' halves crime rate

Rethink on intervention methods spurred by rapidly rising numbers of serious crimes committed results in a significant reduction.

DUBAI // Serious crimes in Bur Dubai dropped by some 70 per cent in the second half of last year, police said yesterday, attributing the dramatic drop to a new strategy they have dubbed Revolutionary Change. The serious crime rate in the neighborhood was also down 50 per cent during the six-month period, when compared to the previous year, they said.

The numbers were in contrast to those seen in the second quarter of 2009, when serious crimes rose 170 per cent year-on-year, said Lt Col Ali Ghanim, the director of the Bur Dubai police station. "The alarming increase in crimes made us review our methods and faults and we realised that a dramatic change is needed," Lt Col Ghanim said. He said the strategy, which was introduced in July, involves using statistical data to create a new action plan every month.

He said police collect data on everything from recent crimes to the type of housing in specific areas, and deploy their 78 patrols accordingly. "By studying such elements and making comparison with previous years we have helped prevent crimes," said Lt Col Ghanim. The overall crime rate for last year rose by 68 per cent compared with 2008, police data show. Murder, drug cases, sexual and phy sical assaults, prostitution and theft and robbery all fall under the category of serious crime. Police declined to disclose figures for individual crimes.

A restructuring of human resources as part of the system has also helped reduce crime, especially inside the station's detention centre. Police officers who work in the station's detention centre must now change departments after a period. "It is an effective measure to ensure that no policeman starts developing a relation with the detained people," said Lt Col Ghanim, adding that since the system was introduced not one crime had been reported at the centre.

A new team has also been introduced to follow up on cases of dishonoured cheques. "The new team has referred 4,800 people involved in bounced cheque cases and another 400 people involved in bounced cheques case have had arrest warrants issued against them as they have fled the country," said Lt Col Ghanim. An electronic archiving system for criminal and traffic records is also in place. wissa@thenational.ae