By Shafaat Ahmed www.khaleejtimes.com
The number of 12,811 fines issued by the Metro’s security staff since its inception may seem big to many, reflecting a high number of violations.
But according to a senior official from RTA, it is very low compared to the other big cities in the world, where violations and crime levels are quite high. This, definitely makes Dubai Metro one of the safest in the world.
“Very few crime or antisocial cases have been reported on the trains or stations so far, and the dedicated Dubai Metro Police have not come across anything major so far. They are trained and ready to handle anything if they come across,” said Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.
A few cases of theft and a few brawls had been reported. Apart from that there hadn’t been any untoward incidents, he added.
Though, the crime rate is absolutely low, 1.5 cases per million passengers, when compared to some of the other big cities in the world where the rates range between six to 15 cases per million passengers, there are near daily instance of violations that reflect in the number of fines issued.
As the violations range, so do the fines, ranging from Dh100 for offences like putting up the feet on the seat, eating or drinking; to Dh2,000 for misusing the emergency button.
So, how does Dubai Metro manage to keep the crime rate down?
Apart from the dedicated police force and close to 3,000 CCTV cameras that monitor every area of the trains and stations, there are also hundreds of specially trained, mostly female, attendants who are hands on to take care of any situation that arises on metro.
Here we talk to a few Metro attendants to get an insight into what happens daily on the trains. Though each narrated different experiences, they were all unanimous in confirming that they have found Dubai Metro much safer than some of the other train systems they have visited.
“Our days are fairly peaceful on Dubai Metro. Apart from making sure everything is in order, there is nothing much to do. I even sometimes get bored of not doing anything,” said Agnus (name changed), who joined Dubai Metro last year.
She added that apart from the occasional arguments or misunderstandings, people in Dubai are generally very disciplined.
Another attendant, Mariam (name changed) said that she had come across a few misbehaving men who don’t listen and had to be dealt with sternly. “These cases are few and far between. There was a particular incident when a man tried to molest a woman. When the woman protested he tried to be violent. Our guards had to drag him out,” she added.
Penalties for such cases could be anything between a fine of Dh2,000 and even a jail-term.
She urged people to keep a few things in mind to avoid trouble, like: Not to push, keep personal space, not to rush and avoid eating on the Metro.