Fighting crime is a way of life for this Dubai parking inspector

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By Sara Janahi, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: Mahmoud Mousa Ali is no police officer but that does not prevent him from keeping a watch on suspicious happenings around him.

    * Mahmoud Mousa Ali, a parking inspector at the RTA, shows the certificates which he received from the Dubai Police for helping them catch suspects and reporting crimes.     * Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
* Mahmoud Mousa Ali, a parking inspector at the RTA, shows the certificates which he received from the Dubai Police for helping them catch suspects and reporting crimes. * Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

In fact the 40-year-old father of four, who works as parking inspector with the Roads and Transport Authority, has helped nab at least three crime suspects.

“I never thought about the fear, my profound sense of responsibility and commitment compels me to personally involve myself in the fight of crimes,” Ali says.

While on duty in 2002, Ali caught a burglary suspect who was trying to run away with Dh75,000.

“I heard people yelling ‘burglar, burglar’, and saw the suspect running toward my direction, I ran after him and cornered him in a blind alley. When he saw my uniform he thought I was a police officer. I managed to hold him down until police officers came to the scene,” Ali said.

In 2004 he helped catch another suspect in the Naif area.

“The suspect was running towards me, I grabbed him and pinned him down until the police arrived five minutes later. When we went to the police station in order for me to testify, police told me the suspect was trying to run away with Dh120,000. I’m very glad that I caught him before he ran off with that amount,” Ali said.

Ali also managed to help police bust a gang of bootleggers operating in the Bur Dubai area in 2007.

Men unloading liquor

“I was working on my shift at around noon by Al Khaleej Centre, when I noticed three men unloading around 20 boxes of liquor from a car behind the building. The minute they saw me and my uniform they got nervous and one of them escaped. I tried to catch the other two, but one of them ran across the street and I couldn’t catch him, I managed to catch the third man and called the police,” Ali said.

The 40-year-old never thought about the possibility of getting harmed during his attempts to assist the police and believes it is his duty as a citizen to provide all support to capture suspects.

“My colleagues at work often congratulate me but admit they would never personally involve themselves in such situations to avoid trouble. That’s wrong, if you let a criminal escape, it will eventually affect your country and affect you as a citizen,” Ali said.

Inspiration to children

The father of four is already inspiring his children to walk in his footsteps and get involved personally in doing the right thing.

“I think my military background is what makes me feel personally responsible to take action. I was in the army from 1983 to 2000. As an army officer you are often secluded from the city and what goes in it. When I started working as a parking inspector and personally witnessed all that happens, I wanted to do my bit to help,” Ali said.

Ali does not stop there. He often reports problems he sees everyday such as prostitution, vandalism and broken property to the authorities concerned such as the Police, Dewa, and the municipality.

Public help important

“The public’s assistance is vital to help curb crimes of all kinds,” said Major General Abul Rahman Rafee, Director of the General Department of community service at Dubai Police.

“The police cannot deny the role of citizens in helping them solve crimes. This kind of assistance eventually reflects on society and helps in creating a safer and more secure environment. By helping the police you don’t just help fight crime, but you help in saving the economy since some crimes consume thousands and sometimes millions of dirhams to investigate.”