Jewellery outlets, malls demand better security

DUBAI — In the wake of the daring Wafi City heist recently, owners of jewellery outlets in Dubai and Sharjah shopping malls have urged police and the shopping mall managements to review their security mechanisms in order to avoid similar robberies.

By Amira Agarib And Afkar Abdulla

Published: Sat 21 Apr 2007, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:43 AM

Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim has, however, assured shopowners and the public that new strategies have been devised to enhance security in Dubai city. Under the new plan, traffic patrols in the emirate have been stepped up and police presence in commercial areas, especially malls, has been made more prominent.

He said currently most of Dubai’s malls are monitored and linked to the Operational Room of Dubai Police and the department organises training courses for security personnel quite frequently.

The police can enhance security but private security professionals should also communicate effectively and regularly to Dubai Police any such theft cases. He said there are security firm in UAE which specialise in providing highly-trained security staff.

In Sharjah, a police official stated that no major mall robbery has been reported in the emirate. But there have been small thefts and break-ins in residential and commercial areas during the last three years. However, the Anjad Patrol is working round the clock to ensure security in all the residential and commercial areas, including shopping malls.

“There is a safety alarm system installed in all the malls and big outlets as well as in the gold souqs are connected directly to the operation rooms at Sharjah Police department. Through CCTV cameras, the police also monitor the outlets 24 hours a day and seven days a week,” the official pointed out.

The outlet owners, however, are not satisfied despite the assurance from the police on heightened security.

A source at the Damas Jewellery outlet in Wafi City has urged the Dubai Police to post some policemen round the clock in the big shopping malls, especially gold souqs.

The owner of a jewellery outlet in BurJuman Centre said, “I think the police authorities should increase patrols and link all prominent shopping malls with the advanced operation room of Dubai Police as they are currently doing it with outlets in the gold souq. After the recent robbery we feel that Dubai Police should have full supervision over the private security staff hired by the malls.”

He added that security measures should be reviewed periodically to adapt to the latest development worldwide and to counter the criminals who possess advanced knowledge and techniques to carry out their criminal acts.

An official of Tiffany Jewellers in Wafi City said the number of security officials in most of the malls is not enough and most of them are not well-trained. The security officials are not authorised to use weapons to intervene in emergency cases, he disclosed, recommending that some of them should be armed to deal with emergency cases. Waiting for the police to arrive at the robbery scene gives the criminals enough time to escape with the booty, he pointed out.

Brigadier Abdul Rahman Rafee, Director of General Department of Community Services in Dubai Police stated that Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world but, of late, criminal gangs are targeting Dubai because the emirate has been fast emerging as an international business centre. The emirate receives over 10 million visitors every year, he added.

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