‘Every street corner’ in Dubai is monitored by CCTV

‘Every street corner’ in Dubai is monitored by CCTV

DUBAI POLICE insist they now have eyes on “every street” as they battle to keep the city safe from criminals.

Police control thousands of CCTV cameras across Dubai to keep the city safe
Police control thousands of CCTV cameras across Dubai to keep the city safe

Officials claim a substantial increase in the number of CCTV cameras means that virtually no street is off the
surveillance grid.

Lt Colonel Nasser Ibrahim Kazim, director of the International Centre for Security and Safety at Dubai Police Academy, would not give exact figures of how many cameras there are in Dubai today but in 2010 the figure was 25,000.

And giving an example of the growth of CCTV, Lt Col Kazim said the number of cameras at Dubai International Airport has increased from 1,600 to more than 3,000 in the past few years.

“They are on every corner of Dubai. I can assure you we have the whole city covered,” he told 7DAYS.

The police official added: “We have expanded our systems and we have set surveillance cameras up in any new area that has been developed around the city.”

Lt Col Kazim made the comments after police revealed on Saturday that a gem thief who allegedly stole Dhs35million worth of jewellery was snared after officers tracked him through the city.

And last month police snared a gang of jewel thieves who allegedly stole Dhs12 million worth of gems from a Lebanese firm in Deira. They tracked the three suspects’ every move across the city using the city’s CCTV network, including to a luxury Marina hotel, before seizing them and recovering the goods.

Among the most high-profile cases in which the emirate’s police force used cameras to identify suspects was the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in 2010.

Officers trawled through 1,700 hours of CCTV footage.

Police declined to provide a figure of how much they spend on security technology but said that no price is too high for safety.

“We need to constantly review our policies and technologies in the light of any regional and global security situations – and do what is needed to keep our city safe,” said Lt Col Kazim.

“How much we pay is not important compared with security and safety.”

While Some of the surveillance cameras in the city come under directly control of Dubai Police, there are many more  installed by commercial entities which must be registered with police and from which footage can be gathered.

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