Wednesday , November 22 2017

Mixed reaction on new security checks by MoI – ‘Intimidating but providing security’

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 12: In this week’s Arab Times online poll, readers shared their thoughts on the renewed security campaigns being conducted by the Ministry of Interior in Kuwait.

The majority of respondents felt that the checks made Kuwait an unfriendly place for its expatriate population while others welcomed the directive as it would enhance safety.

The Ministry of Interior has been active in launching roadside checks in many neighbourhoods across Kuwait these past few weeks as a means to curb crime and apprehend lawbreakers.

But 23 percent of voters felt that the frequency of the checks must be reduced to make Kuwait a more Expat friendly country and another 20 percent shared that they had a feeling of discomfort during the checks even with proper documents.

“I’ve lived in Kuwait all my life and I’ve been very proud of the fact that I was born and raised in Kuwait. But each time I pass a check point and get treated like a common criminal, that feeling fades. I don’t think many expats who grew up in Kuwait still feel welcome here”, a concerned expatriate reader shared.

“Even if you have all the proper documentation with you, it is still intimidating and unnerving for many at these security check points. The temperament of each officer varies greatly and there are always rumours of people being deported despite having proper papers, that’s enough to instill fear in many”, a voter shared.

11 percent of voters felt that the security personnel need to be trained to be able to interact with the public in a better way. “I was stopped during the recent security campaign in Salmiya while I was driving home with my daughter in the car. The police took our Civil IDs and then started interrogating me about the nature of our relationship while that information is clearly stated at the back of her Civil ID. I feel that this is the height of incompetence because they are not even taking the time to correctly read the cards and are simply harassing people”, another respondent told the Arab Times.

25 percent of the voters were in favour of the security campaigns as it benefitted both nationals and expats by keeping them safe from criminals. 5 percent of voters believed that rampant checks were the only way to clearing out illegal residents who are to be blamed for cheap labor and another 5 percent urged for buyers and sellers involved in visa trading to be targeted.

“There are a lot of residency violators in the country. I think these comprehensive checks across neighbourhoods are the only way to weed out the lawbreakers. But until those who are involved in visa trading are penalised, we are just treating the symptoms”, a voter shared.

7 percent of respondents shared that the security checks would impact the revenues of local businesses as fewer people would venture outdoors during checks. “We had security checks on the road by our restaurant at the start of the weekend. There was a clear dip in our revenues for the day as people stayed away on account of the congestion”, a restaurant owner shared.

3 percent attested that there were fewer hooligans on the road during security checks. “There are always rowdy youth hanging around my neighbourhood in the evening who make a commotion. But recently, as there were cops around, they were nowhere to be seen. We need police presence in some neighbourhoods to maintain order.”

By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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