Dubai police considers blimp in fresh strategy to help fight crime 'without police officers'

Making the city ten times better means blimps watching from above, a network of 'crowd sourced' cameras and 'police stations on patrol'

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 2:  A New York City Police Departmant blimp patrols above the Church of Our Saviour Catholic church while President George Bush attends a prayer service inside September 2, 2004 in New York City. After leaving the prayer service the president went to Madison Square Garden to check the stage set-up for his acceptance speech tonight at the Republican National Convention.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Dubai has come up with a novel approach for law enforcement – doing away with police officers.

Instead the city is looking at a series of high tech initiatives that include fighting crime with an airborne surveillance blimp, linked CCTV cameras, and rapid response teams.

The proposals, described as “Police Without Policemen” are outlined in a new strategy that is part of Dubai’s 10X initiative, which aims to make the city ten years ahead of the rest of the world.

The blimp would fly over Dubai acting as an airborne early warning system by monitoring open spaces and construction sites.

On the ground, fixed cameras on fences and homes would harness “crowd sourcing” and advanced technologies to “enforce the security and safety of the community”.

In the third and final stage, what is being described as a “station on patrol” would provide rapid response in emergencies without the need for traditional police stations.

Gen Abdullah Al Marri, commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said the “no policemen policing” concept would “strengthen our partnership with the members of the community to strengthen safety and security standards, and respond promptly to any challenges, and ensure the happiness of our citizens and residents.

“Sometimes in traditional policing measures, valuable time is lost in identifying and arresting criminals. However, with the disruptive innovation that we propose through our new projects that deploy the latest technologies, we aim to scale up operational efficiency,” he said.

The 10X concept for the city was launched at the Dubai World Government Summit, with 26 projects put forward by 24 Government departments.


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Dubai is also investing in robot policemen, with reports that they could make up a quarter of the force by 2030.

They include a three-metre-tall robot to carry heavy equipment, with a top speed of 80 kph and controlled by a real police officer in a cabin. Egg-shaped robots will be used for parking management, issuing warnings.

The city is also investing in artificial intelligence, including facial recognition technology and software that will better anticipate traffic jams and even take account of the driving styles of different nationalities.