Dubai Police to grant bail without keeping suspects’ passports

Suspects and/or their guarantors would previously have to hand over documents



Dubai’s Public Prosecution will allow those charged with certain crimes to obtain bail without handing over their passports under a new smart system.

The smart bail initiative was launched at Jebel Ali Police Station in January as part of wider plans to streamline the judicial process for minor offences in the emirate including the option for the courts to issue fines rather than indictments for lesser crimes.

Read: Dubai Courts to issue fines for minor offences

It involves the issuance of an electronic order to ports and airports that prevents suspects from leaving the country.

Prosecutor general Ali Humaid Bin Khatem told Gulf News that suspects and/or their guarantors could keep hold of their documents in cases involving bounced cheques, insults, breach of trust, drinking alcohol, assault, minor embezzlement and thefts and similar offences.

“As per the smart bail, the suspect will not be asked to hand over his/her passport but they will not be allowed to leave the UAE,” he was quoted as saying.

“This initiative acts as an ‘electronic guarantee’ that the suspect attends the prosecution’s investigation or the trial.”

The official said the initiative would help reduce the cost of managing passports for the police force, which handles some 30,000-40,000 documents a year.

He added that suspects would be able to undertake a normal life in the country while they await trial.

The initiative will be rolled out across all of Dubai’s police station’s ‘very soon’, according to the report.

In the first quarter, the Penal Order system introduced in November to offer fines rather than jail for lesser crimes has resulted in 7,000 cases being solved in less than two hours, according to Public Prosecution statistics, reducing cases referred to Dubai Courts by 30 per cent.

Around 28,000 cases are expected to be resolved under the system this year.