x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Police warn Sharjah residents over summer thefts and fires

Police begin their annual summer publicity drive to warn people to protect their homes while they are on holiday.

SHARJAH // Police have begun their annual summer publicity drive to warn people to protect their homes while they are on holiday. They said the campaign is particularly important this year, as thefts and burglaries have been on the rise in Sharjah as a result of rising unemployment. Shoppers at the Sahara Mall and in the City Centre Mall will be given leaflets detailing basic measures such as switching off all electrical equipment, closing gas cylinders and locking doors when they go away.

"The problem of an empty home is not only thieves but also fire," said Brig Humaid al Hudaidi, the director general of Sharjah Police. "Once the gas cylinders are not closed there is a certainty of fire breaking up in that house when it gets hot." Opening the campaign in the city centre, Brig al Hudaidi said thefts and burglaries were on the rise. Sharjah Police have recently been targeting petty criminals in residential areas, said Col Eid Madhloom, the head of the operations room. He said the campaign had made the Sharjah residential areas safer than they were before it started.

He added that most of the people arrested had lost their jobs as a result of the global financial crisis. In Ajman, police have urged residents to install house alarms before they go on holiday, following a spate of burglaries. On Wednesday three Asians were charged with a burglary in Rashidiya, in which Dh18,000 (US$4,900) in cash and gold jewellery worth Dh80,000 were stolen. Col Abdullah Ahmad al Hamrani, the head of Ajman City police station, said the three men arrested had confessed to the burglary, and had been referred to the public prosecution.

He said it was one of several recent incidents thought to have been committed by people aged between 20 and 30, and attributed the thefts to the rise in unemployment caused by the global financial crisis. Col al Hamrani cautioned people going on holiday to ensure their homes were safe, and inform building authorities. He repeated the call last year by Col Ali Abdullah Alwan, the head of Ajman Police, for residents going away to install house alarms linked to the police operations room, at an annual cost of Dh5,000 (US$1,400).