Don't abuse your power, police chief tells officers

Khalfan repeats his warning over unrest in other Arab states.

DUBAI // Dubai's police chief urged his officers yesterday to avoid abusive, unkind and unperceptive behaviour, and repeated a warning he gave two months ago that abuse of power was the fundamental cause of unrest in other Arab states.

"We have seen across the Arab world what raising the stick and being violent and abusive has led to," Lt General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said at a Ministry of Interior awards ceremony in Dubai yesterday.

"There is no place for insolence or arrogance here and we have to act in a kind and humane manner as we are here to serve the public. A security figure is either hated or loved by the public - all of you should aim for the latter."

Gen Tamim attended the ceremony in civilian clothing to highlight a message of "civility and graciousness that we aim to deliver".

"I say this from experience and after dealing with people in such a manner," he said. "All I found was respect and appreciation."

When dealing with the public, the police chief advised his staff: "If you are abused or insulted, try to understand the reasons behind the person's anger. Do not engage in insults, as you can face legal ramifications. Use legal means to protect your rights."

Gen Tamim has now addressed the same topic in two high-profile speeches. In a lecture in May as part of an annual internal-awareness campaign reinforcing Dubai Police values, he urged an audience of senior officers, department heads and police-station chiefs to embrace a simple motto: I Am a Public Servant.

There were seven points of ethics to which Dubai Police must adhere, the chief said: honesty and truthfulness; integrity and transparency; justice and equity; proficiency at work; co-operation; good treatment; and recognising and rewarding individual contributions.

Since 2004, Dubai Police have implemented a self-evaluation system that reviews the force every year and holds officers accountable for shortcomings. The director of the programme, Maj Gen Abdel Qudoos Al Obaidly, said: "Accountability is high within the force and our programme ensures that."

Gen Tamim also disclosed plans yesterday to set up a community policing programme that he termed "Your Neighbourhood Cop". Under the scheme, police officers who are considered part of a community and can be easily approached would be stationed in their own neighbourhoods.

"With the new programme, 'Your Neighbourhood Cop', we will have a police officer available in every neighbourhood, who lives there to interact with the community and help them in all their needs," he said.

The programme will be launched at the end of Ramadan in areas populated mostly by Emiratis, followed by predominantly expatriate communities.

Dubai Police has launched a number of community services since 2008. The Hemaya programme tackled youth drug abuse, and officers were trained in Russian and Chinese to handle complaints by residents who speak only those languages.

Other community services include the launch of a human-trafficking hotline, a sexual-harassment and child-abuse hotline and a general-service confidential complaint line.

Yesterday's event was held to honour winners of the Minister of Interior's Excellence awards.

Awards were presented to Al Rifaa Police station for its victim-support programme, to the General Department for Institutional Security and Emergency Services for its policing of this year's Dubai World Cup horse-racing event, and to the Anti-Narcotics Department for its youth anti-drugs campaign.

Published: July 22, 2011 04:00 AM


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