UAE: Meet the all-women police squad that raids dens, fights criminals in RAK

They are wives and mothers who always heed the call of duty even if it means leaving their families in the middle of the night



Photos and video by M. Sajjad
Photos and video by M. Sajjad
by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Fri 9 Sep 2022, 7:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 9 Sep 2022, 10:38 PM

Sergeant Amna Al Shehhi is a mother of six but, sometimes, she has to leave her kids way past midnight because of an important mission: To keep Ras Al Khaimah safe.

"I know I could be exposed to all kinds of risk and danger, but I never think twice whenever I have to carry out my duty," said Al Shehhi.

She is among Ras Al Khaimah's 17 female police officers who tackle crimes that involve women — from thefts, brawls and money laundering to human trafficking and prostitution.

Be it at midnight or as late as 3am, these women never hesitate to get up and wear their badges. They are wives, mothers, and maidens who are always ready to sacrifice their lives for the country.

Here's a snippet of a typical day at their headquarters:

Their job rarely looks this simple, though. When they are out on a mission, they could either be raiding dens or restraining gang members.

"At first, I was terrified," said Fatima Al Nuaimi, who is also a mother and a sergeant at the special tasks department. "I had taken part in raids and arrests of human traffickers, thieves and other criminals. It was scary, but it eventually became just normal routine, especially since we underwent intensive training on taking suspects into custody and how to keep ourselves safe."

Another officer, Sergeant Laila Mohamed Ali, used to have a safer role of guarding female VIPs during events. Though she spent 14 years doing this job, she felt she had to give more for her homeland.

"This is why I enrolled in raid, inspection and arrest training. I want to be able to respond to a national call at any time," Ali shared as she spoke to Khaleej Times proudly wearing her uniform.

By now, Ali's family is well aware of her duty that sometimes requires her to spend the night outside their home.

"They never objected whenever I have to be out. In fact, they are proud of me, especially whenever we complete a mission safely," she said.

Fatma Al Saadi, who lives with her parents, added that whenever her boss calls — even at 3am — she would rush to get dressed and leave the house without informing her family.

"My parents are now used to my work. When I'm not in my room at bedtime, they know that I have a mission to carry out," said Al Saadi, who serves as first officer.

"They always pray for me to return home safe," she added.

In many cases, these women have faced resistance, violence and assault, but they manage to protect themselves and put suspects under control.

The policewomen underwent 25 training courses in the first six months of this year alone, equipping them with the skills and expertise they need to carry out their missions.

'It can also be emotional'

Besides the physical demands of the job, Sakina Mohamed AlBlooshi said it could also get emotional since they are dealing with women who struggled in life.

"I used to sympathise with female suspects, especially when they cry and explain their situation," said AlBlooshi.

"But after the training, I have learnt that my duty is to protect my country from criminals who threaten national security," she added, sharing that she once took part in a raid that involved at least 20 women.

With conviction, AlBlooshi said they are ready to risk their lives to fulfil their duty. "To serve the nation is a mission instilled in our hearts and minds."

Empowering women

Col Mohamed Nasser, director of the Training Centre at the Ras Al Khaimah Police, said that in their team, women are empowered to do the same tasks as men.

"They represent a fundamental pillar in police work and contribute to enhancing safety and security in the country," he said.

For the emirate's police, the goal is to prepare female officers for all kinds of crimes. After all, there's no such thing as a man's job.

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