Police in Sharjah have increased the number of CCTV cameras in the emirate to fight crime more efficiently.
The force said more than 21,540 have been added to the network since September, bringing the total to 65,799.
The aim is to have 100 per cent of Sharjah covered by the network, an increase from the current 85 per cent.
Initially, only 500 security cameras were installed to ensure public safety and catch criminals.
“The current number of cameras represents about 85 per cent of the end result of the project, which is to have 100 per cent of the emirate monitored by surveillance cameras,” said Col Nasser bin Afsan, director of Sharjah Police’s electronic services and communications department.
Speaking at an annual press event, he said the cameras were connected directly to the police operations room, allowing law enforcement to monitor and respond to incidents in real time.
This has led to a significant improvement in the police's ability to maintain public safety and security in the city, he added.
Sharjah's commitment to safety has been recognised, with the city named as one of the 10 safest in the world in a report this year by numbeo.com.
“This is not only about enhancing the security of Sharjah, but also about promoting a sense of safety and well-being among our citizens and visitors,” said the colonel.
“We are committed to being a world-class city that provides the highest level of security and peace of mind for everyone.”
The force has introduced other initiatives to ensure the well-being of its residents.
A one-month 50 per cent discount on various types of traffic fines was recently announced to promote road safety and compliance with traffic regulations.
More than 75 per cent of debt-laden drivers have cleared their unpaid fines in the first two weeks of the scheme.
Running from March 1 to 30, the discount was implemented after the emirate's executive council decided to introduce permanent discounts of 35 and 25 per cent on traffic fines.
“Offering permanent discounts was made after conducting multiple studies, surveys and comparisons,” said Lt Col Mohammed Allay, director of Sharjah Police's traffic and patrolling department.
“People often waited for discounts announced on special occasions to pay off their fines.”
He said more than a million traffic fines were issued to lawbreaking motorists in 2022.
“The recent scheme has proved successful, with over 230,000 car owners renewing their vehicles licences after taking advantage of the discount and paying off their fines,” he said.
Lt Col Allay emphasised that the intention was to stop reoffending.
“This initiative has not only helped drivers clear their debts but also motivated them to be more responsible and law-abiding on the roads.”
Early payment discounts
While Sharjah Police's discount scheme ends on March 31, the year-round discount campaign by the emirate's executive council offers a 35 per cent reduction on fines paid within 60 days from the date the traffic violation was issued.
If not paid in two months the discount is decreased to 25 per cent. That is applicable throughout the following 10 months.
Serious traffic offences such as jumping red lights, driving in a way that endangers lives, exceeding the speed limit by more than 80 kph and carrying out unlicensed modifications to vehicles are not included in the scheme.
Lt Col Allay said 82 speed cameras have been installed in the past three years.
“The radars are part of the force's ongoing efforts to enhance road safety and ultimately leading to fewer accidents, injuries, and fatalities on Sharjah's roads,” he said.
These are additional to 20 smart radars, which can detect more offences such as texting while driving, situated across Sharjah.
“The cutting-edge devices are designed to detect multiple traffic offences simultaneously, including speeding, illegal lane changes, and using mobile phones while driving,” said Lt Col Allay.