How 131,000 cameras are helping catch criminals in UAE
Ras Al Khaimah - The system recently helped the RAK Police arrest a robber.
With 131,000 CCTV cameras in place across Ras Al Khaimah, the police were able to solve up to 83 per cent of reported crimes in 2018, authorities have said. The emirate targets to be crime-free by 2021.
"The advanced system, powered by the latest security technologies, is connected to radar and geographic information systems, as well as visual early warning and car identification systems," said Col Dr Mohammed Abdurrahman Al Ahmad, director of e-services and communication of the RAK Police.
In 2017, the CCTV cameras - which were part of the police's Hemaya project - supported police's operations in solving 74 per cent of crimes.
The system recently helped the RAK Police arrest a robber who was trying to force open a car parked in front of a vegetable market, Col Al Ahmad said.
"The woman owner of the car saw the man at the surveillance screens fitted at the store where she was shopping." She tried to catch him, but he managed to escape.
"The police tracked him down and arrested him in a few hours, with the help of the video footage," he said.
Cameras have also become a main source of lead for the authorities in hunting down drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents, Col Al Ahmad said.
"It has decreased the percentage of unsolved crimes, too, particularly theft cases in public and private facilities, such as money exchange houses and gold stores," he added.
Brigadier Jamal Ahmad Al Tair, director-general of the Public Resources Authority at the RAK Police, said the Hemaya project covers majority of centres, shops, government offices, public institutions, mosques, hospitals, schools, hotels, rest houses, villas and residential buildings.
"The establishments were required to put a sticker outside their premises indicating that they are covered by CCTV cameras, so that criminals would think twice before breaking the law.
"Criminals now understand that the smart cameras are directly connected to the police's systems, and they will definitely be caught," said Brig Al Tair.
Col Al Ahmad said the RAK Police have accredited over 100 service providers, where people and firms can avail of the security system.
"Owners of any facility, particularly gold stores and exchange houses, are given a grace period of only 30 days to have their establishments secured with these CCTV cameras, which must be linked to the operations room of the RAK Police," he said.