DUBAI, 15th January, 2022 (WAM) — Despite the rapid growth and continuous development, horses of all breeds have never lost their value and remained a symbol of beauty, prestige and strength, a cause for pride among their owners, and a source of inspiration for poets and writers.
Nowadays, horses have a fair share in enhancing the safety and security of community members and play a pivotal role in spreading peace among them. Horses have become an essential part of many law enforcement agencies worldwide, including Dubai Police who has dedicated a police station and introduced new policing mechanisms to utilise equines in policing work.
Since the seventies, Dubai Police has been one of the leading police organisations to use horses in their work. The Force has also received international recognition from the British Horse Society (BHS) for applying the latest work systems in training trainers and horses and applying the latest human resources and safety systems in its various mounted police departments and divisions.
As early as 1976 According to Expert Major General Muhammad Issa Al Adhb, Director of Dubai Mounted Police Station, Dubai Mounted Police began in 1976 with an order by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The Section was affiliated with the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Institutions and had nine horses and four handlers.
“Since then, Dubai Mounted Police has witnessed great development and attracted interest from the Dubai officials, leaders and citizens. The Section was restructured into a sub-department affiliated with the General Department of Criminal Investigations before it became a police station in 2019,” Al Adhb said.
Crime Prevention Maj. Gen. Al Adhb explained that the Station serves Dubai Police’s strategic objective of reducing crime and ensuring safety and security as horses are involved in daily patrols across industrial, commercial and tourist areas, which contributes to preventing crime, arresting suspects and locating suspicious and abandoned vehicles.
He noted that in 2021, they conducted 2279 patrols, including 49 security patrols, 81 community patrols, and 457 awareness patrols, in collaboration with Dubai Police volunteers to raise awareness on the announced precautionary measures against covid-19 patrols.
Maj. Gen. Al Adhb added that their main tasks include training and qualifying jockeys, cadet officers and newcomers, and offering equine-assisted therapy.
Equine-Assisted Therapy The director of Dubai Mounted Police Station said they have trained and provided equine-assisted therapy to 350 children of determination as part of an initiative they launched in 2007 in collaboration with the Community Development Authority (CDA).
“Our horses are assigned different roles. Some are trained for riot control, some for parades and events, some for patrols and others help encourage children with disabilities to open up to the world. There are also horses that represent the Station in endurance races,” Maj. Gen Al Adhb added.
Social Interaction The Dubai Mounted Police also participate in various festivals and events, including securing venues, stadiums, and performing shows and parades.
“We always get approached by people, especially children” “Everyone loves horses. They want to know about the majestic creatures, so they come up and ask questions. Cops on horses are less intimidating, and people feel safe around them,” Maj. Gen. Al Adhb said.
International Recognition Maj. Gen. Al Adhb indicated that the Dubai Mounted Police Station had obtained international recognition from the renowned British Horse Society (BHS) after passing the Society’s assessment on work systems for training workers and horses, human resources mechanisms, occupational safety, and work procedures. Thus, Dubai Police has become the first law enforcement agency to obtain this prestigious global recognition.
Awards Maj. Gen. Al Adhb further explained that the Dubai Mounted Police Station had won several awards, most notably the Fatima Bint Mubarak Award for Excellence and Community Intelligence, the Princess Haya Award for Special Education, the Ideas Award, and the Sports Creativity Award.
He added that in 2018, the Dubai Mounted Police Station broke the Guinness World Record for the largest parade of horses with UAE flags.
Exceptional Equine Rehabilitation Programme The director of Dubai Mounted Police Station confirmed that their equine rehabilitation programme had made some remarkable achievements over the past 15 years. The programme includes rehabilitating and training racing horses and enabling them to participate in events, shows and festivals.
Maj. Gen. Al Adhb said 173 people from the Dubai Mounted Police Station, Dubai Police Academy and Hemaya International Centre participated in the Royal British Windsor Show 2019, in cooperation with the Dubai Equestrian Club and Al Meydan.
“Our participation succeeded in catching the interest of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who was impressed by our success in rehabilitating and training racing horses, so they could participate in various shows and withstand the hustle and bustle of live shows and loud music,” Al Adhb continued.
Innovations of Dubai Mounted Police The director of Dubai Mounted Police Station revealed some of the Station’s innovations, including an engineless bicycle for training horses equipped with front and rear fenders for docking horses kicks during training. In addition, the Station’s has developed a water spray device and a rubber-balls throwing machine used to create scenarios that simulate riots.
Maj. Gen. Al Adhb said they have also developed a horse-training armoured vehicle equipped with front and rear fenders that fuse with the horses to train them on push and anti-riot response. The armoured vehicle is also fitted with an artificial smoke device to train horses on fire outbreak scenarios during riots, loudspeakers and customised front and rear cameras.
117 Horses Police forces worldwide have made the most of people’s love for horses to boost intimacy and friendliness between officers and members of the public. The presence of mounted police in mass gatherings spreads joy and happiness and enhances people’s sense of safety.
Today, the Dubai Mounted Police Station has 117 horses who roam the city’s streets to ensure safety, tranquillity and spread joy among its people.
Horses Wellbeing Major Dhahi Salem Al Jallaf, Director of Administrative Affairs at Dubai Mounted Police Station, indicated that one of their pivotal work aspects is veterinary and horse care. “Our veterinarians and nurses work tirelessly to ensure the horses’ safety and wellbeing at all times, treat their injuries and follow up on their health and immunisation schedule,” he noted.