ABU DHABI // Women are now represented in all aspects of UAE policing, an international conference heard yesterday.
Since the induction of 24 women officers into the force on April 22, 1978, their role has consistently grown, with Abu Dhabi Police now counting about 3,000 women in its force.
Two months ago, with the introduction of three female officers to the security support section, women broke through the final male bastion of the force.
The section’s tasks include supporting patrols responding to shoot-outs and arresting dangerous suspects as well as attending major accidents.
“All such cases now require a woman to be involved because she can deal with other women – such as when problems or fights break out between families, or they may be required to inspect or arrest another woman,” explained the section’s Lt Maryam Matboona.
In addition to the standard military-style courses all recruits undergo, the section requires its own special training. Only three such courses are held each year.
“During the last course, 24 women entered but only three graduated and made it to the section,” said Lt Matboona. “We hope more fresh policewomen pass the test and make it through.”
Of the three who finally made it, all said making arrests was the most exciting part of the job.
Sergeant Amal Al Shehhi said some men found it hard to accept being arrested by a woman.
“I had a situation where I stopped a man who had parked wrong and was disrupting traffic,” she said. “He said: ‘Don’t talk to me in that way’ and he became all furious because he thought we would fine him. But we only wanted to warn him.”