Recently in Sharjah, the police managed to arrest a murder suspect — without anyone giving any information about his whereabouts. How did they find him? The smart cameras of the emirate detected a man in a red shirt, driving a black sedan, and his features matched the description stored in the police’s system.
More than 10,000 security cameras, worth Dh40 million, have already been installed across Sharjah as part of a massive safety project, the police said on Thursday.
The third phase of the Sharjah Police’s ‘Sharjah is a Safe City’ project is now almost complete, with advanced surveillance systems put up in the eastern and central regions of the emirate.
Launched in 2017, the project aimed at beefing up Sharjah’s security systems through the use of high-tech cameras. Among the places equipped with cameras are government facilities, factories, hotels, oil companies, banks, money transfer companies, jewellery shops, shopping centres, hospitals, pharmacies, large commercial companies, residential and commercial buildings and mosques.
“Some fixed cameras give a detailed picture and obtain data for the security or traffic departments. They provide information about a crime, while some offer an overview of the traffic movement and crowd on the streets,” according to an official at the police’s communication and electronic services department.
“Some mobile cameras can collect the information of the vehicle’s plate, while others can detect the density of cars on the street and provide suggestions to develop and improve the infrastructure of the emirate.”
Mobile cams, he said, are installed in bicycles and vehicles.
Since the safety project was rolled out, crime rate and traffic violations have gone down. The system also helps the police save time and effort in investigating crimes, allowing the authorities to improve emergency response time.
Brigadier-General Ahmed Haji Al Serkal, director-general of the Police Operations Department, said the emirate’s security cameras are considered top of the line. Recently, he inspected the cameras’ operations and explained to the team how these are installed and linked to the central operations room.
Cameras are linked to an analytical system where the police can gather the data. They also give warning signals when suspicious movements are detected. An artificial intelligence is also at work, analysing information and providing support to the police.