Dubai Police’s 5 latest 'eye' tools

to keep our roads safe

The old-fashioned scene of a cop sprinting through the streets, jumping over some cars and climbing a couple of fences in pursuit of a suspect are something of the past. Supercars fitted with the latest technological gadgets are more likely to be seen in the world of crime today.

Dubai Police is at the forefront of the technological development of equipment that will assist them in better, faster and more effective tracking of road offenders.

These are five of the tools that police use to track offenders on Dubai roads.

360° rooftop camera

This is the latest gadget of Dubai Police, presented for the first time at Gitex Technology Week this year. The rooftop device consists of 12 cameras and has a 360° view, explained Ashraf Abu Bakr of the Operation Department at Dubai Police.

“The device consists of 12 intelligent light bulbs, with different functions. While 4 are surveillance cameras with a 360° view, the other 8 are Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.”

ANPR cameras automatically detect any vehicle that is listed with Dubai Police as ‘wanted’, Ashraf continued to explain.

When a vehicle is wanted a message is sent to the police officers who can then decide to stop the car.

The surveillance cameras are a major advancement too, he said. “The current rooftop cameras have a front and back view only. With the 360° view, detection becomes more effective. One camera observes 6 lanes.”

The new rooftop device is currently undergoing tests and will be implemented next year.

Portable radar

A portable radar is the newest addition to the speed monitoring arsenal of Dubai Police. It is yet to be implemented, but it will soon be part of the police car.

“A portable radar is a box that can be placed inside the vehicle, while it detects speed violations in the area surrounding the vehicle,” said Ashraf.

Contrary to the rooftop radar that is placed on top of a police car, this radar will not be seen by road users, who tend to respond to the visible presence of speed radars on the road.

With the addition, the number of different speed radars deployed by Dubai Police stands at 5, including the rooftop radar, airport gate radar, and two different radars on the side of the road.

The current rooftop eye

Although the existing rooftop camera of Dubai Police cars may not be fitted with the latest technological advancements, the devices allow Dubai Police to capture traffic offenders on a daily basis, explained Hamad al Hashmi of Dubai Police.

The current system includes a camera system which can be used to track the record of any driver based on the number plate. “The police officer can verify a number plate when suspicion arises, and the traffic record of the driver will roll out.

With this method, many offenders have been captured and brought to court, Hamad added.

“A common violation on the road is that of a non-registered vehicle. Often motorists are reluctant to pay their fines or instalments on the car, and decide to postpone the renewal of the vehicle registration.”

Google Glass

Even less apparent and more sophisticated than the portable radar are the Google Glasses. And yes, they are already being used by Dubai Police.

With Google Glass, violations can easily be observed and reported, explained Ahmed bin Fahad of Dubai Police.

“When a ‘wanted vehicle’ appears in the eagle eyes’ sight, a notification will automatically appear on the screen, informing the officer about the offender,” he said.

The police officer does not even need to be on the lookout for that particular person, all he needs to do is wear the glasses while on patrol.

Flying speed radar

This is a yet-to-be-deployed gadget, but if implemented will change the way road users think about speed. A speed radar will possibly be installed in a drone flying over Dubai roads.

The drone has already been built, and is capable of carrying a speed radar if such measures are to be implemented, explained Maher bin Haidar, of the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency at Dubai Police.

With the capacity to zoom in from a kilometre distance and be in the air for two hours, it could form the first air-based speed radar in Dubai.

However, the drone would have to be situated in one location in order to function as an actual radar.

The option is currently under study and could be used to capture illegal road racers, or aggressive drivers

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