Interview: Major General Mohammed Khalfan Matar Al Rumaithi

How has policy shifted towards a greater emphasis on community-based policing?

MAJOR GENERAL MOHAMMED KHALFAN MATAR AL RUMAITHI: The community police have been remarkably successful in moving from simple traditional policing to a wider role by emphasising the need for communication and interaction with the community, as well as greater community harmony and unity. These achievements were the work of our police officers and civil society partners, mainly Emirati men and women, and their efforts will continue so they can accomplish a number of objectives, using themes that focus on a safe society and a strong economy. The community police have been successful thanks to their working methods, which make use of various communication tools. In 2014, the community police were able to communicate with over 2m Asian expatriates in the UAE by activating the “Tawasul” programme. They organised various sports competitions in collaboration with external partners such as the UAE Exchange company, employed modern communication and outreach technologies such as SMS messages and sports field screens, and issued publications in various languages in order to introduce the Asian community to the role of the community police and to raise security awareness.

What efforts are being made to address issues related to cybersecurity in the emirate?

AL RUMAITHI: Great effort and care is being put into reinforcing cyberprotection, collaborating with partners to exchange ideas and methodologies, and confirming the importance and benefits of introducing safety measures at an early stage. Importance is also being given to reinforcing partnerships, and providing guiding principles, standards and the necessary resources to help improve cybersecurity in all fields related to the Ministry of Interior’s e-services. In this regard, the Ministry of Interior recently completed a project to develop the infrastructure for smart applications and e-services by completing the establishment of a modern data centre. The centre is at the heart of the ministry’s e-services, and greatly contributes to the monitoring of daily operations and services provided by the ministry. It also identifies solutions and areas for improvement so that the work can be completed efficiently and the services continually enhanced.

The data centre at the Ministry of Interior/Abu Dhabi Police GHQ has received the highest certification for data centres in the world: the Level 4 Trusted Site Infrastructure (TSI) certificate from the German IT firm TÜViT. After successfully undergoing strict audits, the centre also became the first data centre in the MENA region to meet TÜViT TSI Level 4 requirements, becoming one of only six centres with this certificate worldwide.

Of course there are security precautions to be taken in the process of shifting and restructuring services for the public. We are constantly working on identifying and setting policies that can mitigate the impact of these risks on the shift to electronic and smart services. Our centre was established to host websites and smart applications to provide the highest levels of monitoring and the latest systems in information and data security.

As the number of people seriously injured on the roads decreases, which strategies are being developed to further improve road safety?

AL RUMAITHI: The Abu Dhabi Police have started implementing the second phase of the long-term strategic plan to be executed over the next five years (2015-20). The plan aims to reduce the rate of traffic fatalities to six for every 100,000 persons in 2020 by developing practical procedures in the field of traffic safety, which will be applied according to the highest global standards and practices.