Rise in tip-offs from Dubai public help combat human and drug trafficking

More than 108,000 reports of illegal activity were made to Police Eye mobile app in 2023

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: N/A: Corona. A police car patrols an empty JBR. Tuesday, April 14th, 2020. Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Dubai Police have tracked down a number of criminal gang members involved in human and drug trafficking thanks to anonymous tip-offs from the public.

More than 108,000 reports of various crimes were made to the force's Police Eye mobile app last year.

About 32,102 of these were reports of human trafficking, drug use and cyber crimes, while 9,297 traffic offences were reported.

Police did not disclose the specific number of arrests made due to information provided by the public.

Police Eye was launched in 2019 to allow residents to report any suspicious activity to Dubai Police as part of efforts to make the city safer for the public.

There are several categories available on the app, including disturbances, drugs, suspicious vehicles, suspicious gatherings, illegal credit sales, gambling, beggars, vandalism, prostitution, alcohol, school security and massage cards.

Maj Gen Eid Mohammed Thani, director of the anti-narcotics department at Dubai Police, said many of the tip-offs had helped the force arrest drug-trafficking gangs.

"We were able to identify dealers and users, thanks to the observations of the public when they reported the crimes using the Police Eye app," he said.

The force have also received information on people abroad being involved in drug-trafficking crimes in Dubai.

According to Maj Gen Saif Al Mazrouei, director of the general department of traffic at Dubai Police, there has been a "remarkable increase" in public engagement with the app since it was launched.

"This community-police partnership has helped the traffic department get to areas and trace offences we wouldn't have known of otherwise," he said.

In one incident, traffic police were able to trace and arrest a number of young men who were stunt-driving near a valley in the emirate.

“We were tipped about them through public members using the Police Eye app," Maj Gen Al Mazrouei said.

"In another incident, we arrested a number of motorists stunt-driving in the desert close to an area which is popular with families."

Surge in public support

The number of tip-offs relating to criminal activity in the emirate has steadily increased, with reports on human trafficking, drug use and cyber crimes rising from 3,752 in 2019, to 32,102 last year.

Reports on traffic offences have also surged from 845 in 2019 to 9,297 throughout 2023.

Maj Gen Mazrouei said the increase in tip-offs was "testament to the heightened sense of responsibility and legal awareness within our community", with the app becoming a crucial tool in the fight against crime.

Users can submit their tip-offs anonymously in various formats, such as written descriptions, images or videos.

Submissions are received by a dedicated team in the operations rooms, which classifies each report and directs it to the appropriate department.

"This streamlined process ensures that every piece of information is handled with the utmost care and precision, bolstering the app's role as a vital tool in crime prevention and public safety," said Brig Mansour Youssef Muhammad Al Gergawi, director of the general administration of administrative affairs at Dubai Police.

He said the public's active participation has not only aided in significant arrests but reinforces their role in safeguarding the community.

Updated: March 28, 2024, 9:17 AM