Dubai Police has launched a month-long campaign aimed at reducing crime committed by house helps and raising awareness in both Emirati and expatriate households to dealing with domestic workers in a humanitarian way.
Speaking of workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities at the press conference to launch the campaign, Colonel Dr Mohammad Naser Abdul Razzaq, Acting Director, Criminal and Investigation Department, Dubai Police, said about 4,000 crimes by domestic helps have been recorded in Dubai in the last three years.
While citing absconding, adultery and theft as the most common immoral activities workers engaged in, he identified several reasons that force domestic workers to resort to such crimes.
Col Dr Razzaq said not paying them salaries on time and pressurising domestic helpers with too much work are the main reasons that force them to commit crimes because most of them hail from poor families.
He stressed the importance of humane treatment towards them adding that if ignored, treated with aggression and contempt, household helps pose a real threat to the security and safety of families.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Al Marri, Director, Investigation Section, CID, Dubai Police, said if employers are a bit more vigilant they can stop maids from absconding and even ending up in prostitution dens.
Lt Col Al Marri suggested maids not be housed in separate area. It’s when they stay separate that they are encouraged to have sexual relationships with other male staff of the household or even befriend strangers and then abscond.
He also called upon employers to exercise caution while employing domestic helps and check their back grounds carefully. And once employed, he urged them to keep a close watch on staff as they could be misled into practising witchcraft or even in thefts, if left alone.
Lt Col Al Marri, however, added that crimes can be committed by anyone. He urged society to respect and treat their helpers decently and well.
Colonel Ahmad Thani bin Ghulaita, Director, Crime Prevention, CID, Dubai Police, said absconding topped the list of crimes and reasoned that was mostly because maids were mistreated.
The officials also brought to light cases of crimes against employers’ children by househelps. They urged parents to be vigilant at all times as kids would not be able to express themselves well.
Colonel Abdul Razzaq said in 2012 about 1,258 crimes were committed by domestic helpers; 1,395 in 2011; and 1,276 in 2010.
Col Dr Razzaq said the campaign, which will last until July 17, will be rolled out in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Public Prosecution, the Ministry of Interior’s Centre for Child Protection, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities.