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Posted On: 8 July 2013 12:29 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Scared, some expats flee at the sight of police vehicles

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Many expats are so scared of police that they run away when they see a police vehicle, and this makes efforts of law-enforcement officials to promote the concept of community policing among expatriate communities a bit challenging, a senior Interior Ministry official said yesterday. A majority of people are afraid of police and do not approach them when in need, Captain Rashid Mubarak Al Khayareen from the Community Police Department said. “They run away when they see them even though they may have done nothing wrong.” Al Khayareen was speaking at an introductory seminar on facilities provided by the ministry for expatriate communities. Representatives from eight communities, including those of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia attended. Services provided by the Search and Follow Up Department, Human Rights Department, Community Police, Traffic Department and Metrash 2 were discussed. Al Khayareen said that the concept of community police was relatively new in the country and aimed to enhance partnership between police and expatriate communities. “The Qatari society has gone through significant changes in the past few years. We have many nationalities and people with different religious backgrounds in the country.” He said that complaints received by the community police so far this year were very different from those last year. “A majority of problems exist because people are not aware of Qatari customs and traditions,” Al Khayareen said, pointing out that Qatar was a conservative Muslim country. Taking pictures of men and women without their permission, for instance, is prohibited in Qatar. Begging is also banned in the country. There have also been cases where people were caught urinating in public. The ministry has also come across cases of fake CID officers dressed in plain clothes, who scare and dupe ordinary people. Abdullah Sultan Al Naimi, an official from the complaints section of the ministry’s Human Rights Department, said that in the past seven months his department had helped 276 complainants change their sponsorship due to their disputes with employers. “We also take into account human rights concerns in police dealings,” Al Naimi said.