Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, with Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of DSC, and Brigadier Yousef Al Adidi, head of Dubai Police’s Sports and Culture Initiative, at the inauguration of sports facilities at the remand centre of Al Barsha Police Station.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
The exceptional power of sport as a force for good has been the subject of numerous studies around the globe. Closer to home, there was one conducted by Dubai Police recently.
It was a six-month pilot project, held under Dubai Police’s Sports and Culture Initiative, where they opened a Sports Centre in Al Qusais Police Station, allowing inmates to play different sports, as a team or as an individual, or workout on a made-to-order gym machine. There was a treadmill as well, and a purpose-built track for inmates to run or take leisurely walks.
It was the first such initiative of its kind in the region, and Dubai Sports Council were Dubai Police’s strategic partners on the project.
‘There were two inmates who would have heated verbal exchanges virtually every other day. But after playing football together, they became really good friends. They were from different nationalities, but they became like brothers’
Brigadier Yousef Al Adidi, Director of Al Qusais Police Station
After six months, studies revealed a marked improvement in the attitude of inmates. Playing sports together and working out had fostered feelings of solidarity, co-operation and tolerance among the inmates, and helped them develop personal and social skills. They were healthier and happier, and all the misgivings about the others had vanished. Visits to the doctors had virtually ceased.
‘By the end of 2020, we will implement this initiative in all 11 existing police stations in the Emirate of Dubai as well as the 12th one that is taking shape, and two additional remand centres.’
“Before the start of this initiative, we had seen instances of aggressive behaviour from certain inmates. Nothing major, just minor incidents. But after taking part in this initiative, their behaviour changed completely. They became calm and friendly towards each other, and started enjoying their time together, started showing concern for each other.
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