If you are living in a rented apartment and heading abroad for the holidays, then, you had better hope your landlord has beefed up your building’s security.
With the Dubai Police Housing Security Programme only covering those residing in independent homes and community villas, the vice chief of the section told Emirates24|7 that a new initiative needs to be launched to provide individual security for those who live in towers.
He also reiterated that no law exists in the city which makes it a requirement for landlords to provide basic security for its tenants.
Captain Saud Salem of the Housing Security Programme said: “While newer buildings do adapt basic security measures such as intercom systems, cameras and 24-hours watchmen in buildings, the older residences aren’t bound by law to provide even a basic form of security in the building common area.
“This happens at the landlord’s discretion.”
When quizzed as to why apartment blocks are then exempt from the free-of-charge neighbourhood watch initiative when these structures may need it more, Capt Salem said: “An army of policemen have to be employed if we start monitoring individual homes. It is just not feasible currently; a new initiative would have to be launched to offer this to private residences.”
200 villas covered
Meanwhile, those living in villas, who want to employ this free service should submit details of their residence at the nearest police station.
Capt Salem stated that travel dates should be handed over every time they travel and should there be changes in the schedule, the programme members should be informed.
He urged communities to register with the programme, adding: “We launched this initiative in 2004 with just 38 participants and today we have over 200. And in our history, not a single home that has registered with us has been burglarised.”
He also stated that more nationals should sign on for this initiative, with the current breakdown of registered homes being 70 per cent expats and only 30 per cent nationals.
Meanwhile, the neighbourhoods that have witnessed the highest number of registrations include The Palm Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Al Sufoh, Jumeirah, Warqah, Mirdiff and Rashidiya.
What to do to keep your house safe
Capt Salem provided a few tips and measures that residents in apartments should adopt when travelling over the holidays, stating that informing neighbours of their absence can go a long way.
“Neighbours can watch out for your home, while residents should ensure that the water and electricity is switched off in their absence,” he said.
“Also, make sure all access points into the home, including windows, doors are all securely locked.
“An added measure is, either employ a safe in the house or purchase an external locker to keep all your jewellery and cash. If it’s not at home, chances of things being burglarised do not exist.”