Sharjah: The rate of serious crimes fell by 45 per cent last year in Sharjah and the overall crime rate dropped by 7.37 per cent compared to 2016, Sharjah Police officials have said.
The decrease follows ramped-up efforts, security and strategies to fight crime, senior officials said during a briefing about the force’s 2017 performance on Wednesday.
In 2017, 12,633 crimes were recorded with Sharjah Police, compared to 13,638 crimes recorded in 2016.
There had also been an improvement in people’s perception, with 97 per cent of people reporting feeling safe in Sharjah last year, compared to 92 per cent in 2016.
Wednesday’s interaction saw participation from, among other police officials, Major-General Saif Al Ziri Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police; Brigadier Abdullah Mubarak Bin Amer, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police; and Brigadier Mohammad Rashid Bayat, director of operations.
Brig Bayat said the General Department of Criminal Investigation achieved 100 per cent success in arresting culprits involved in serious crimes. He attributed the lower crime rate to a new mechanism that involves tracking movements of suspects who were previously involved in criminal activities.
Those who committed serious crimes, such as murder, robbery and assault, are now behind bars. Perpetrators who had managed to flee the country were arrested later, he said. In most incidents, the police arrested the culprits before they could flee the country.
Brig Bayat said the police have drawn up a plan for early crime prevention, including an intense awareness campaign to spread the culture of respecting the law. Also, patrolling has been intensified on roads and in crime-prone areas. The police deployed 22 security, 12 police and 10 CID patrols in unmarked vehicles to ensure safety and security of residents, in addition to bicycle and marine patrols.
Brig Bin Amer said the police installed 10,486 high-tech CCTV cameras in the entire city, becoming the third police force in the world to implement this advanced surveillance system. The project, called ‘Sharjah is a Safe City’, was launched last December by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, during the celebrations marking 50 years of Sharjah Police.
Also, a security culture programme for schools has been adopted to tackle bad behaviour such as absenteeism, smoking, bullying and violence.
Brig Bayat pointed out that the drop in the crime rate was also brought about by activating constructive initiatives that aimed to settle disputes such as the ‘Reconciliation is the Best Way’ initiative, boosting cooperation between community members and the police.
He said financial disputes formed 40.7 per cent of criminal cases.
In 2017, Sharjah Police settled more than Dh347 million worth of financial disputes without having to refer cases to courts, while Dh345.8 million worth of financial disputes were settled in 2016.
However, Sharjah witnessed a seven per cent increase in drug-related cases in 2017, with police recording 767 such cases, compared to 712 cases in 2016.
The police seized 9.5 million tablets of narcotics and 400kg of narcotic substances with a street value of more than Dh515 million.
“The department spares no effort in raising awareness about the dangers of narcotics, especially among youth as they are the most vulnerable,” Brig Bayat said.
837 serious crimes took place in 2017, compared to 1,511 in 2016
Cases of arson decreased by 60% (from 10 to four cases)
Premeditated murder cases dropped by 71% (from seven to two cases)
Assault cases fell by 82% (from 86 to 15 cases)
Theft cases decreased by 52% (from 1,069 to 513 cases)
1.1 million calls
Police received more than 1.1 millions calls on the 999 emergency number and non-emergency number 901 in 2017.
Some of them were related to minor issues.
The response time — personnel reaching the incident site after the emergency call — was reduced from 10.3 minutes in 2016 to 9.2 minutes in 2017.
Officials have to answer calls on 999 or 901 within three rings, which equals 10 seconds.
Personnel speak five languages — Arabic, English, Urdu, Persian and Russian.
Residents can contact Najeed service for reporting an issue anonymously — by calling 800151, and sending SMS to 7999, fax to 06-5529000, email to email@example.com or by visiting www.shjpolice.gov.ae/najeed
Customer happiness services
32 Service Centres, including police, traffic and Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishments
Over 2.5 million people served in 2017, compared to 962,236 served during 2016
Customer satisfaction reached 89.9% in 2017, compared to 89.2% in 2016