Dubai Expats Told: Don’t Fear The Police

Picture of the city of Dubai

The Dubai police chief yesterday appealed to expatriates to trust the authorities and continue to be aware of the requirement to report crimes.

Speaking at the Forum for Combating Human Trafficking, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim revealed his opinion that many expatriates failed to report crimes as a result of their fear of being interrogated by the Dubai police.

He was quoted in the United Arab Emirates online news resource The National as saying:

“It is tough being a stranger in a country. One might put up with many wrong things carried out against them, rather than report it to law enforcement authorities, as they are scared of being questioned.

“We know this, as we tend to do the same when we are abroad – we do not want to come in contact with law enforcement authorities.”

The role of the media in educating expatriates was enforced and Afra al Basti, the chief executive of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, commented: “If people are well educated about the crime and understand its seriousness, I do not think they would hesitate to report it. But if they do not have enough awareness then I can see them refraining from reporting it. That is why the role of media is important in spreading awareness.”

Human trafficking is becoming more and more of an issue in Dubai. Speaking in The Gulf Today, Colonel Dr Mohammad Abdullah Al Murr, Director-General of the General Department of Legal and Disciplinary Control, said:

“Thirty-five cases related to human trafficking were registered in Dubai last year in which 61 victims were involved, one man, five children and 55 women. Out of these, 34 women and children were forced into prostitution, while the case involving the man was found to be one of forced labor.

“In 2009, there were 23 cases and 36 victims were involved in these cases, while the number of suspects went up to 90.”

Ly Gen Dahi told the forum that a new hotline to report suspicions of human trafficking would shortly be launched in Dubai: “Since the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children was established, we have had the intention of setting up a hotline, but this was postponed in the hope that we would have a unified number all over the UAE. Unfortunately, I don’t see this number anywhere, so we are going ahead with dedicating a line for callers in Dubai, which will happen very soon.”