Safety requires special vigilance

We live in an extraordinarily safe country but that doesn’t mean there is no crime at all.

As a society, we must remind ourselves that low crime doesn’t always translate to no crime. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National
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One facet that newcomers to this country quickly appreciate is how safe life is here. With some of the lowest crime rates anywhere in the world, we can sometimes take for granted how secure life can be. For exactly this reason, the recent spate of thefts has surprised many residents. The relative absence of crime we have come to expect has paradoxically presented a challenge to maintaining the vigilance necessary to keep the high standards in place. In a way, we are a victim of our success and we have let our guard down.

As The National reported yesterday, six men have been arrested after a burglary spree on 70 villas across seven emirates. This month, Dubai Criminal Court heard evidence implicating two men of stealing diamonds and jewellery worth more than Dh23,000 from the safe of a Dubai home while the owners were on holiday. A rash of burglaries in Dubai's Arabian Ranches has residents worried about increasing levels of crime in their neighbourhood.

While the news is disturbing, we must also think about how our lifestyle patterns can influence waves of crime. Do we do enough to protect our homes and our properties?

There is another factor at play as well. Many of the criminals who are targeting villas and homes for burglary seem to be a part of international crime rings.

As the prosperity of the UAE continues to receive increasing attention around the world, it is only to be expected that more criminals will be attracted to target the country.

As a society, we must remind ourselves that low crime doesn’t mean no crime. With a little bit of extra vigilance, especially when leaving for a summer holiday, we will be able to protect ourselves and maintain the safety that we currently enjoy.