Eye-scanner boosts security

ABU DHABI - Eternal vigilance is the price demanded of all societies fighting the menace of a bewildering range of crimes from the ordinary to the sophisticated.

By N. Srinivasan

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Published: Thu 24 Jun 2004, 10:09 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:04 PM

This alone, however, may fall way short of delivering the goods, unless the approach calls into play the state-of-the-art gadgets and tools of modern technology.

The Abu Dhabi police have moved swiftly to take stock of the situation to ensure that nothing 'eludes the human eye' in the maintenance of law and order, by swooping down on the offenders, thanks to the new eye-scanning technology introduced by the immigration authorities in October 2002.

The results have proved more than encouraging with thousands of people who attempted to cross over to the country by impersonation and falsification of documents, finding themselves fall into the hawk-eyed dragnets, in just a winking moment of scrutiny.

Khaleej Times spoke to a cross-section of the community to elicit their views on the benefits ushered in by the technology that has made the country virtually out-of-bounds for offenders who all along were less vulnerable to detection of their crimes.

Azeez Vittal, sales executive (Indian), The use of the iris recognition security screening appears so far the most foolproof system to track down criminals. Habitual offenders may of course come up with their one-upmanship with the passage of time, although it is difficult to conceive at this stage how they can browbeat the apparatus.

It goes to the credit of the capital police that they have already put in place the most modern technology to combat crime. Although how the system works, leading to detection, may not be clear to the common man, more used to conventional methods such as finger printing exercise, there is no doubt that appreciation of its effectiveness will gain popular favour.

Mohammed Salem Taha, businessman (Yemeni), The eye-scanner has already proved effective going by the recent statistics that the bid of over 9,000 foreigners to enter the country illegally on fake documents, was foiled at various points of entry.

It is very heartening to note that none other than a person of the eminence of Lt. Gen. Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Deputy Crown Prince and Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, evinced keen interest to conduct an on-the-spot review of the functioning of the system. This is bound to give the capital police a shot in the arm and raise their energies and levels of performance to higher realms. The lead that the police have taken is indeed commendable.

Ashraf Siddique, marketing executive (Pakistani), A welcome feature of the eye-scanner is the expeditious way in which the scrutiny can be carried out. This is borne by the fact that over half a million eyes have been screened since the introduction of the technology in a relatively short span of time.

A point to be noted here is that the UAE is a safe haven with low incidence of crime. Nevertheless, the authorities have taken the initiative to further ensure that frauds are curbed and anti-social elements are kept at bay, seen in the context of the heavy flow of traffic into and out of the country.

Ramya Shetty, housewife (Indian), The composition of population of the UAE is mind boggling, considering the relatively small size of the country. In such a heterogeneous mixture of nationalities, it is indeed a fastidious task to keep track of the day-to-day developments, vis-à-vis maintenance of law and order, compared to societies that are virtually homogenous, never mind the vast areas of their lands.

What is reassuring about the iris recognition screening is that it provides congruous blueprints that are distinctively unique. This is to be seen in the context of as many as 2.6 million entry visas that were issued by the immigration authorities last year alone.

It is common sense that a number of visitors who have failed in their objectives, whatever they may be, may attempt to re-enter the country resorting to numerous ingenious methods of forging and falsification of documents.

The eye-scanner will now send a chill down their spines, and law-abiding citizens on legal status can heave a sigh of relief.

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