Dubai Police Department roots out corruption

Dubai Police have set up a system of closely monitoring officers to keep them honest.

Powered by automated translation

DUBAI // Strict monitoring and a system of rewards are aimed at keeping Dubai Police free of corruption and other abuses of power, the deputy police chief Maj Gen Khamis al Mazeina said in an exclusive interview.
Preventing officers from using their authority to personally benefit themselves at the expense of the public is of primary concern, he said, because doing so is key to the department's overall success.
To this end, Dubai Police has a department dedicated to monitoring any corruption and abuse of authority.
"Corruption is a crime and we investigate any information or claims we come across. Valid cases are referred to court," Maj Gen al Mazeina said.
Last week, three policemen were sentenced to a month in prison by the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours for using unnecessary force against three suspects accused of bootlegging.
Two Emirati officers in their mid-20s and a Pakistani policeman, 30, were found guilty of beating the suspects and causing serious injury to a detainee during an investigation in February last year.
The Pakistani officer will also be deported after he serves his sentence.
This case is the latest in a series that have been referred to courts over the last year.
Although exact case numbers were not made available by police, The National reported on at least eight cases involving bribery, extortion, abuse of position and excessive use of force.
Dr Humaid al Muhairi, an Emirati expert on the research and prevention of corruption in the UAE, said the issue should not be taken lightly.
"Misuse or excessive use of power by police forces leads to the unwillingness of people to report crimes," he said. "Consequently, crime increases in the society and eventually security as a whole is compromised."
A member of the UAE delegation to the UN Convention Against Corruption in 2003, Dr al Muhairi said: "Having corruption among law enforcement authorities is the most dangerous type of corruption, because if those who implement the law do not follow it, then it becomes difficult to keep other institutions in check."
According to Maj Gen al Mazeina, the first approach to keeping police "clean" is to keep them happy.
"We pay attention to supporting our staff and keep them loyal by providing benefits like promotions," said Maj Gen al Mazeina.
"When one is given all sorts of resources - medical, social and financial benefits - one does not want do anything to ruin the reputation of the apparatus," he said.
But the promise of reward is not the only weapon in the anti-corruption arsenal; the reality of constant monitoring and public accountability measures keep officers on their toes, too.
That monitoring includes a complaint system, instituted in August 2007.
The system initially fell under the Department of Human Rights, but in April 2010 it was moved to Dubai Police General Department of Legal and Disciplinary Control.
Col Mohammed al Mur, the director general of the department, said: "The violations investigated can range from delays in providing services, to refusing to carry out duties without a valid reason, as well as more serious acts like mistreating members of the public."
Those wishing to report an incident involving Dubai Police can log on to, or call 800 404040. Complainants will be given a personal reference number so that they can follow up on their cases and find out the results of the investigation.
Police said they also have an open-door policy concerning public complaints and concerns.
People can e-mail the Dubai Police Chief or Maj Gen al Mazeina on their direct e-mail addresses, which can be found on the Dubai Police website.