High tech police gear on show at Dubai conference

The Emirates International Forensic conference, held in Dubai, heard from a range of experts from across the Gulf and beyond about advances in technology and science being used to track down criminals and scour crime scenes for important clues.

Police can find suspects in crowds by using unmanned drones fitted with cameras that have facial recognition capability, says Capt Mohammed Al Mazroui of Abu Dhabi Police. Jeffrey Biteng / The National
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DUBAI // Drones fitted with facial recognition cameras and software programmed to recognise an individual’s voice in Arabic are some of the technologies that police may use to fight crime.

At the Emirates International Forensic Conference and Exhibition in Dubai yesterday, experts from around the world spoke about finding criminals and scouring crime scenes for evidence with the use of technological and scientific advances.

Capt Mohammed Al Mazroui of Abu Dhabi Police explained how officers planned to find suspects in crowds by using unmanned drones fitted with cameras that can distinguish a person’s features.

“Drones are the future of crime-fighting. Soon a new drone that detects suspects’ faces will be part of the technology used by police,” he said.

Capt Abdullah Al Awadhi, a crime scene officer at the general department of criminal evidence in Kuwait, explained how he used a biometric tool to verify the identity of Arabic speakers.

“Speaker recognition was tested on 78 participants and identified almost all of them,” he said.

Hiroshi Koyanagi, the executive director of Smartmedical Corp, demonstrated the Empath system that detects a person’s mood and emotions from changes to vocal pitch, speed and volume.

“This method was introduced after the earthquake in Japan and it helped in caring for victims,” he said.

Mr Al Mazroui said the UAE’s police forces were using the latest technological and scientific advances to find clues from crime scenes.

“The importance of examining a crime scene is in knowing the incidents that led to the crime. Forensic experts draw up different chains of events to come up with the scenario that caused the crime,” he said.

“New technologies enable forensic experts to have better and faster access to information, to be more accurate in the identification of delinquents and minimise the possibility of wrongful accusations.”

Fahed Al Shamiri, judicial assistant at Abu Dhabi Courts, said such systems were important tools for police officers, prosecutors and judges.

“My job requires me to consider all the evidence carefully and inform prosecutors or the judge. It would be impossible to identify a criminal or perpetrator without forensic science and the technology it uses,” he said.

“Forensic science is very important, as it allows investigators to unmask the secrets of the crime scene. Evidence gathered at the crime scene helps to identify the guilty party, murder weapon, and even in situations that require the identification of victims.”

Maj Gen Ahmed Al Mansouri, Dubai Police’s general director of forensic science and criminology, said events such as the Emirates International Forensic Conference were important in providing officers the tools to fight crime.

“Experts from all over the world are invited to discuss the challenges we face in our field and to learn from their experiences,” he said.