Force plans link with police in the Middle East

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POLICE officers from the United Arab Emirates could be trained on the streets of Yorkshire as part of a partnership with the region’s biggest force.

Thirty officers from Abu Dhabi, the capital and biggest emirate of the oil-rich UAE, are studying at universities in West Yorkshire and will bring back their expertise to improve policing in their own country.

As part of efforts to give them the “best possible experience around the world”, West Yorkshire Police’s chief constable Mark Gilmore says they may work alongside his neighbourhood police officers in future.

Mr Gilmore said: “There is potential for 30 officers to come and work alongside police officers and PCSOs and staff to see how they engage with communities.”

Mr Gilmore recently travelled to Abu Dhabi in a trip paid for by the local force to see what could be learned about its forensic science capabilities and whether any of its work could replicated in West Yorkshire.

He said he wanted his force to develop a reputation for innovation by pioneering new forensic techniques including the “digitisation of the crime scene”.

The UAE, which declared independence from Britain in 1971, has a separate police force for each of its seven emirates, and Mr Gilmore said bosses wanted to standardise their procedures.

He said: “They are a very wealthy nation and want to be the best in the world by 2021. Quite a number of people from outside the UAE are helping them to develop where they are going to.”

Mr Gilmore added that his trip in February had helped senior officers see what could be learned from the way the other approaches forensic science. He said: “I am a firm believer that we all learn from each other, and they have quite a significant investment programme, as we have with our forensic science strategy here locally in West Yorkshire and indeed Yorkshire and Humber.

“There is an opportunity to see what they are doing and benchmark what we are doing, and to open up to some of the innovations that we have done.”