Dubai Police stations to get sports hubs for inmates
SPREADING POSITIVITY: Maj-Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri; Saeed Hareb, secretary-general of the Dubai Sports Council; and other officials at the recent opening of the sports centre at Al Barsha Police Station.
Dubai - The Dubai Police have started implementing its sports and culture initiative across their stations.
By the end of the year, every police station and remand centre in Dubai will have a sports centre for inmates, the emirate's police have said.
In partnership with the Dubai Sports Council, the Dubai Police have started implementing its sports and culture initiative across their stations.
The programme follows the success of a six-month pilot project led by Brigadier Yousef Al Adidi, director of Al Qusais Police Station.
In a first initiative of its kind, the team opened a sports centre at the police station, allowing inmates to play different sports as a team or as individuals.
The facility also has a custom gym machine, a treadmill, and a track where they can work out, run or take leisure walks.
Results of the trial were encouraging: Studies revealed a marked improvement in the attitude of inmates. They were healthier and happier, and visits to the doctors had virtually stopped.
Playing sports and working out had fostered solidarity, cooperation and tolerance among the inmates and helped them develop personal and social skills. "When we compared the behaviour of the inmates before and after the trial, there was a huge difference," said Brig Al Adidi, who also heads the sports and culture initiative.
"We saw the benefits it had on not just the physical health of the inmates, but also their mental well-being. They were a lot happier and showing much better bonding and teamwork."
Brig Al Adidi said that prior to the initiative, there were instances of aggressive behaviour.
"Nothing major, just minor incidents. But after taking part in this initiative, their behaviour changed completely. They became calm and friendly," he said.
"In fact, there were two inmates who would have heated verbal exchanges every other day. But after playing football together, on the same team usually, they became really good friends and we never had any trouble from them after that."
During the sports initiative's run, there were zero incidents of aggression, the officer added.
"Levels of depression and pessimism also came down considerably. Overall, the atmosphere became a lot better and positive."
Taking it forward
The emirate's jails have long had sports facilities, but this is the first time such an initiative will be done for remand centres and police stations, Brig Al Adidi said.
With the approval of Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, and in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council, the team has now started bringing sports to all other detainees.
"The initiative has already been implemented in three police stations as well as the remand centre at Al Barsha Police Station."
>> INSIDE THE SPORTS CENTRE
1-High-quality synthetic turf for playing and jogging areas
2-Weight training machines
4-Tailor-made equipment, designed in a way that they cannot be used to harm people (e.g. No dumbells)
Open from 6am until 10pm
>> Positive results
1-Zero incidents of aggression
2-Inmates are calmer, friendlier towards each other
4-Fewer requests to see doctors
5-Levels of depression dropped
6-Detainees started enjoying time with each other