The Dubai Police Department is encouraging homeowners to register for the Dubai Police Smart Home Security program in order to protect their homes while they travel. Department officials called a press conference last week to highlight the importance and impact of enrolling in the security program in crime prevention.
The program has two options for homeowners looking to integrate Dubai Police Smart Home Security into their long-term travel plans. A free option requires users to fill out certain personal details surrounding their smart home security, and the police can inform them if the system alerts them to any strange movements around the house. This option also requires residents to provide an emergency number to the police department.
A paid option requires the resident to fill out the same form, and then for a “symbolic price” the Dubai Police will outfit their home with satellite-connected special cameras and sensors that will alert the police to suspicious activity around their home. The most basic paid version of the program costs 1,000 UAE durhams, or approximately $275.
The smart home security program partners the Police Department with du and Transguard, two major security companies that install the systems for residents. The systems come with an app that allows users to register their homes from anyone in the world if they forgot to inform the authorities before they left. The Police Department will monitor their homes and increase police patrols in its vicinity.
Lt. Col Rashid Abdulrahman Bin Thaboi Al-Falasi, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, also used the press conference to bring attention to the rapid adoption of the program and its success in preventing crime. Lt. Col Bin Thaboi stated that users jumped 35% in the past year, more than doubling the program’s growth of 17% in 2016. The Criminal Investigation Department hopes the program will grow an additional 50% by the end of 2018. Lt Col Bin Thaboi claims that the special signboard placed in front of residences registered with the program leads to fewer property crimes in those homes.
Privacy Concerns in Providing Access to a Third-Party
During the press conference, Lt Col Bin Thaboi addressed privacy concerns, saying “the system of the program has got the cameras on the entrances only, and the sensors are connected to satellites, so we as officers won’t see what is going inside homes.”
Lt Col Bin Thaboi added, “we need to educate people that merging our lives using such smart applications and artificial intelligence is to ease our lives and continue to ensure safety in Dubai, considering it is one of the most secure cities in the world, with less crimes and accidents.”
Dubai is widely regarded as one of the most secure cities in the world, but its police department is still searching for and devising new methods to ensure the safety of its citizens. Dubai’s government was an early adopter of smart security technology, even opening the very first Smart Police Station in 2017. The Smart Police Station is a police station without any humans designed to provide privacy for those who seek aid. The emirate continues to propagate smart security measures, and the growing popularity of the program seems to attest to its efficacy.