‘Cameras everywhere’ – Dubai police plan to expand city security
Growing city needs extra security efforts, says police chief.
June 20, 2010 3:01 by Samuel Potter
Dubai police are to spend AED 500 million on new security technology this year, reports the National.
Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Chief of Dubai Police, said surveillance needs to be ramped up to meet the growing requirements of an expanding city; the aim is to have “cameras everywhere.”
“We need to work according to a well studied strategic plan and not only react to events as they come along,” Lt Gen Tamim said in his interview with The National. “We will have cameras everywhere.”
There are currently around 25,000 security cameras in the emirate, and the number will increase as the force begins installing a new type of smart camera that can rotate to cover what were once dead spots.
Lt Gen Tamim said the importance of such technology in the force’s work was highlighted in the investigation into the murder of the Hamas official Mahmoud al Mabhouh in his hotel room in January.
“With the al Mabhouh murder we were able to play back time through the footage captured by cameras, and after going through 1,700 hours of CCTV footage we were able to pull the strings together and identify the suspects,” he said. “Sometimes we are lucky with cases, sometimes the constant following up pays off, but what always works is our intelligence gathering.”
He went on to reassure residents over issues of privacy. “The big number of cameras does not alter the privacy of the city’s residents and visitors,” he said. “To intrude on people’s privacy is not allowed by law and is not acceptable by our religion and tradition, so nobody in Dubai need feel scared about their privacy.”
Lt Gen Tamim said he and his colleagues were working on the security for each and every aspect of Dubai, “whether it’s an environment security, commercial or tourism security.”