By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter and Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: For every one million Dubai Metro passengers, only 1.6 have faced crime of any nature, making the public transport network among the safest when compared to even developed countries and cities.
Colonel Abdullah Al Gaithi, deputy director of Organisational Security and Emergency of Dubai Police, who oversees Dubai Metro security, said criminal incidents at Dubai Metro stations tally up to 1.6 for every million passengers.
“It is one of the lowest figures globally, especially when compared to countries of the developed world, where the ratios are 13 crimes per million passengers in Britain, in Boston it’s 5.8 crimes per million passengers, while the crime is 12.3 per million passengers in Chicago and 7.5 per million passengers in Atlanta,” Colonel Al Gaithi said in a press statement.
According to him, there were only two reported incidents — both involving pick-pockets — since the beginning of Metro operation last year, and both happened during the early stages of the Metro’s launch.
A spokesperson of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) also said Dubai Metro is more or less crime-free.
He said the Metro is perhaps the best-secured train network in the world. The main Operations Control Centre (OCC) monitors every inch of train operations, stations, tracks and tunnels with the help of more than 3,000 cameras, besides intelligent communication and information systems, he said. Dedicated police teams have also been deployed at Metro stations and every compartment in each train is monitored by cameras, he added. “Passengers are caught by the camera from start to end of their journey,” he said.
The two crimes reported happened because of overcrowding, with one taking place at Mall of the Emirates Station and the second one at Burj Khalifa Station. Footages of the suspects were provided to the Criminal Investigations Department.
The total number of Metro passengers on a daily basis averages around 112,100, said Colonel Al Gaithi.
Susan H., a Filipina customer service agent, who regularly commutes on the Metro to go to work, said she feels absolutely safe during her journeys.
“I personally feel safer to travel in the Metro compared to taxis,” she said. However, she pointed out that people tended to avoid standing in queue to board the trains. “Since the trains become crowded during peak hours, people tend to push other passengers.”
Jamal Kareem, an India banker, said that though he has not seen any crime on the Metro, he is also scared of pickpockets during rush hours. “There is absolutely no fear but some people do harass other passengers while getting on and off the trains,” he said, urging the authorities to monitor the situation closely.
“The Metro Security Department is currently coordinating with the Criminal Investigations Department to deploy officers in trains especially during peak hours,” said Colonel Al Gaithi.