Sheikh Mohammed at the Smart Police Station opening

When IDC predicted that 2017 would be the year we would see robots taking over ‘mainstream jobs,’ little were any of us to know that this would include roles in the emergency services. Dubai Police’s ‘Robocop’, which engages users via the screen on its chest, is just one of many technology-driven initiatives that the force rolled out last year.

In September, the first totally automated smart police station was opened in Dubai at City Walk. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the new station offers key services such as reporting crimes and traffic incidents, as well as offering community services ranging from getting a good-conduct certificate to social support for victims of family violence. It provides UAE residents with a confidential service point where the customers can speak freely with officers via video link.

During Intersec last month, Dubai Police also announced its strategic plan for artificial intelligence, following months of research to identify the areas that needed most attention. Despite having already integrated this technology into its smart app, Dubai Police plans to harness AI techniques going forward to improve a number of police tools such as alleviating traffic congestions, leveraging facial recognition systems, implementing self-driving police patrols as well as assistive technologies for improving surveillance methods.