Dubai Police bicycle heroes nab 83 criminals

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 8 September 2019: Established just 18 months ago by Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, the 26-member Dubai Police bicycle patrol has been able to arrest 83 wanted persons, prevent potential crimes, contribute to the arrest of residency violators and promoters of counterfeit goods.

Their rapid movement, mobility, and prompt response to reports are the most prominent features of the teams who contributed to finding lost children, as well as carrying out social tasks and engaging in events to serve community members and visitors of tourist areas.

Maj-Gen Al Marri praised Dubai Police bicycle patrols for their high efficiency. He also lauded their keenness to enhance the security and safety of the emirate of Dubai, and their valued contribution in establishing the reputation of Dubai Police in providing quality services to the public.

Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of Criminal Investigation Affairs, added that last year, the team carried out a campaign in cooperation with the Tourism Police Department in Umm Suqeim area near Burj Al Arab to achieve a zero crime rate.

Bicycle Cop

The Head of Bicycle Patrols, First Lieutenant Mohammed Aman Al Zarooni, said the cycling teams consisted of 26 personnel and four reservists, dispatched across several vital and crowded areas, namely, La Mer, City Walk, Deira Souk, Bur Dubai, JBR, Al Muraqqabat, and Al Raqqa. They are also present at many events and initiatives such as the Global Village and the Dubai Horse Racing.

Intensive Training: Lt. Al Zarouni added that members of the unit joined many courses to qualify them for specialised tasks, including courses in self-defence, crowd control and public order, first aid, firefighting, using taser guns, monitoring violations, CPR, shooting while moving on the bicycles, and descending on stairs. They are also required to undergo different refresher courses every three months, and to cycle for long distances not less than 20 kilometres to maintain their fitness.

Unique Experience: It was easy for Corporal Rashid Salim from Naif Police Station – who joined Dubai Police Bicycle Patrol after years of serving in vehicle patrols – to spot the difference between both approaches. “The nature of reports received by regular patrols differs, in type and seriousness, from those received by the bicycle patrols.” “We receive less serious reports and are geographically limited as we have the advantage to move across narrow alleys and unpaved streets” Corporal Salim explained.

According to Corporal Salim, it is essential for bicycle patrol members to introduce themselves to guards and security personnel in residential areas, and to create channels of communication with them. “We also rely on having a vital connection with the command and control centre at the Dubai Police General HQ, as this speeds up the response and provides necessary assistance when needed,” Corporal Salim added.

Lost Child Found: Corporal Salim said that a Saudi national stopped them in downtown area and sought the Dubai Police Bicycle Patrols’ help after he had lost his four-year-old child. “We gathered details and the description of the boy from the father and immediately initiated a search operation. Having the advantage of being able to manoeuvre and move swiftly across the area, we located the child in just 30 minutes and handed him over to his father who was overwhelmed with our timely response,” Salim recalled.

Violators Apprehended: Corporal Salim added that the nature of Dubai Police Bicycle Patrols’ work enables them to seize vendors who specialise in selling and smuggling counterfeit goods.

Policeman Ahmad Al Saadi from Al Muraqqabat Police Station, said it crucial for police bike patrols to have accurate security intuitions and the skills to read the body language of offenders and fugitives. Al Saadi explained that vendors promoting illegal or counterfeit goods usually hide in the inner alleys or narrow streets, which makes it difficult for regular police patrols to reach them.

Foiling a robbery: Policeman Al Saadi recalled being in Al Murraqabt area when he and his teammates spotted two Asians walking suspiciously around shops wearing backpacks. “We stopped them and inspected their backpacks, and found robbery tools and bolt cutters. Investigations showed that they were planning on robbing one of the neighbouring shops,” Al Saadi explained.

Lost in crowd…found by Dubai Police: Policeman Al Saadi added that Dubai Police bicycle patrols, with the assistance of security personnel at the Burj Khalifa area, were able to find an eight-year-old child and return him to his mother in record time despite the dense crowd in the area.

Cool Gadgets: Corporal Jassim Al Razi from Bur Dubai Police Station, said Dubai Police bicycles are equipped with some smart devices and communication technologies that enable them to exchange information quickly and track locations through smart applications. He noted that the Department of Government Communication had provided Dubai Police Bicycles Patrols with a smart map supported with an important database on each region.

He added that the members of the teams carry a number of gadgets including a German-made taser gun “TASER X2” that has a seven-metre range; a smart helmet that helps the team stay connected at all times, and to have direct connection with the central operating room to facilitate immediate connection in case of reporting incidents or calling for backup; a pair of smart gloves with turning indicators to warn other road users when riders wish to change their course from one track to another; and a waterproof, night vision, smart camera that live broadcasts the situation to the operating room

Dubai Gazette