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Islington Police vs Cairo Police

I was meant to write this post a month ago when I was mugged walking down the road to my home in London. One night, as I was on my way home, I could hear two men walking behind me:
"Just fucking do it!", I heard one say to the other
"Shut up and do it".
As I could hear the footsteps getting closer, I realized that I am on the verge of being attacked. While hoping that its just not one of those crimes when someone would just stab you, as is the case with so many murders in London, I started studying my options. I had none, but to leave my handbag on the ground and just walk. I thought that would be just ridiculous. My ultimate aim was that I would not intimidate them, hoping that it would be just limited to the bag being snatched off my shoulders.
Of course, I was not wrong. Soon after, one jumped over my back and held a knife to my throat. Shocked as I was, I naturally screamed. Luckily, there was a man standing at his window when the attack happened. He shouted as well, scaring my attackers. A face came so close to mine and ordered me to hand over my bag, which of course I did helplessly. They ran off.
I called the police and my rescuers did not want to give a statement. The police, who by the way answered promptly, told me that they will send someone to me. I was too scared to stand in the street alone, so I asked them to come over to my place.
Ever since, I keep thinking of how the police in Egypt would have dealt with the situation. I have been comparing my experience so far with the Islington Police with that of my experience with the Egyptian police. Of course, my comparison was between two separate and totally different instances, but the way I see it reflects how both function differently.
The Islington Police
A few minutes after reporting the incident over the phone and giving them my address, a policeman arrived at my doorstep with his badge ready. He introduces himself and apologizes for the ordeal I have been through. He talks to me calmly and politely.
"I am terribly sorry for what you have been through"
Of course at this point, my house mate and I were just overwhelmed with his presence in our home.
"What we usually do in cases like this is take the victim on a car ride around the area to see if you can identify your muggers. If you would like, we can do that right now in an unidentified car waiting outside".
My house mate and I decide to do it. We go into the car, where another police officer was waiting at the driving wheel.
"I am terribly sorry, but I will have to ask you some questions as we drive around. I understand of course the suffering that you have been through, but the answers can help us identify the attackers"
At this point I couldn't understand why he is apologizing for asking me questions. After each couple of questions he would apologize, confirming to me that he appreciates the fact that I am assisting him in finding my muggers despite of the stressful situation I am in.
I must say, I was overwhelmed of how good I was treated.
My other surprise was that I did not have to go to the police station to file the report. Our search was fruitless. The police officers drove us back home, and asked me kindly to sign a paper. They gave me a report number and said that they will be in touch with me soon.
A few days later they phone me to tell me the not so great news. Out of the average 500 times I am caught on CCTVs in London from the moment I leave home to the moment I return to it, the CCTV on the road where and when the attack took place was looking in the opposite direction. The camera was not able to take any shots of the muggers at all. He apologized genuinely.
A few days later he phones me again to ask for the bus details so as to see the CCTV on the bus and see if my attackers had been following me. Still, no result.
A few days later, I receive a letter from the police, apologizing for the incident and telling me that I can apply for compensation.
The phone calls and the search has been going on for over a month now. The police phone me on a weekly basis to give me updates. I don't have to call them to remind them that I have been violated. They are on top of it.
They phone me to ask me for permission to put a witness board on the road asking people to phone if they have witnessed the theft. They said they cant do it without my permission. Can you believe that?!!!
And today they phoned me asking if I would like to go to the police station, which so far I haven't been to, to look at some pictures. I enter the police station, which was absolutely clean and quiet. I was told that I will find a phone, and I was given an extension number to dial. I dialed the number and the police officer answered and said he will come collect me from downstairs in a few minutes. As I sat there I remembered the first time I went to the 6 October police station to do a crimes report that was requested for a job I was applying for. My first surprise was the cage that was visible from the entrance of the police station. In it was a girl. I remember thinking, what if that person was innocent? Why not respect the possibility of that? They just show their detainees like animals in a zoo to all visitors of the station? I thought it was too cruel, but of course, we all know that that is the least they would do to someone in detention in Egypt.
Back to the English police, of course there is no way I could identify my muggers now. I only saw an up close face that had a hood on and it was dark. But still, their apologies, their pursuit, and their concern was so relieving. Yes, there is still danger in the streets, but I feel respected as a human.
The Egyptian Police
I had a foreign friend of mine who unfortunately married an Egyptian who beat her up. When she got fed up, she decided to divorce him, and of course came running to me to help her out. First, we put a restraining order on him. We went to the police station in Zamalek. It took us about two hours to get the report written by a police officer who we had to explain a million times to him the situation. Then I took the girl to a lawyer who would file a Khol3. Anyway, my friends husband showed at her door one day and she freaked out. She tried calling the police but they couldn't understand her English. She phoned me to help her out. I phone the police.
It took me an hour to explain to the police, why I am in Mohandessin and phoning to report an incident in Zama
lek. Finally, he understood. Then he said he will send a car to the area. That of course took 3 hours, which of course by then the husband had left. In the meanwhile, the policeman who had answered my call initially was on the phone with me, assuring me that they will handle it but the fact that I phoned from Mohandessin to report an incident in Zamalek had caused some confusion. He then said, even if he leaves, we can break the door and report a forced entry complaint, if I would like. That just blew my head off.
"What are you thinking? I am not asking you to fabricate a crime against someone, I am asking you to do your job and protect someone who has a restraint order against her husband!!!"
After knowing that I was a journalist, he apologized and confirmed that he was only trying to help!!!
There are so many stories about how the Egyptian police treats detainees. Video clips of torture within police stations say it all. For me the comparison only showed to me how different one can get treated depending on the police's training and culture. Here, in London, where I am currently living, the police are trained to treat victims of violence with special care. Their job is not only to follow the case, but also calm the victim and assure them that they are safe. At least, that was my experience so far, especially compared to findings of how the Egyptian police treat people, and particularly in light of the fact that the Ministry of Interior refuses to recognize the Police as serving the people and would rather have the police and the people serving the nation!
At the same time, I would like to give tribute to De Menzes who was shot in London by the Metropolitan Police on 22 July 2005 when he was suspected to be a terrorist. There is currently a trial against the police based on the facts that there might have been serious errors that led to the shooting and the undermining of the safety and security of the public.

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