Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Big Brother Has Arrived (and He Could Be You)

Police App to Have Public Catch Offenders Thrives
Shipping News Feature
UAE – WORLDWIDE – Policing traffic offences in the United Arab Emirates took a singular step in early 2001 when the ‘We Are All Police’ campaign got under way and now it would seem the practice of ‘grassing’ on your fellow motorists is getting ever more popular as smart phone technology evolves and makes evidencing of offences ever easier.

The principle is simple, if a citizen spots someone offending they can simply log on to the homepage of the local police website in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, register personal details before uploading a photo or video of the offence. Violations would normally include parking offences ranging from blocking in other vehicles to obstructing disabled bays or ambulance parking zones.

There are of course two ways of looking at this policing technique, it would be a saintly soul who hadn’t on occasion wanted to wreak revenge on another inconsiderate driver, yet becoming a simple cash and conviction conduit for the authorities will be unpalatable to many.

What is certain is that the policy is working for the authorities who, with almost 14,000 traffic reports via smart phone alone in Dubai last year, and an incredible total exceeding 80,000 altogether for the first eleven months of 2016, mostly via the 910 hotline dedicated to the service, are raking in the readies for next to no expense.

No matter how distasteful the policy may be to some, the constant battle to park and rapidly deteriorating traffic situation in many cities around the world, London for example features constantly in reviews of urban pollution caused by the ever swelling ranks of vehicles, it may be that the policy of informing on one’s neighbours when they transgress may find a place outside the Middle East.