They help the elderly and sick, guide pilgrims, crack down on pickpockets, break up fights among visitors and even help find girls who take refuge inside the Prophet’s Mosque after running away from their families.
However, the biggest difficulty female police officers at the Prophet’s Mosque face is dealing with the female visitors who suffer from mental problems, said the chief of the women’s police station at the holy mosque.
Thamra Al-Shehri said: “Dealing with such patients need a lot of wisdom and patience. Once we control them, we hand them over to pertinent officers who take them outside the mosque.”
The female officers are also responsible for cracking down on pickpockets and beggars as well as runaway maids.
They ensure that the security situation inside the mosque is safe and under control and there is nothing that poses a danger to female visitors.
Many times the officers have helped identify girls who run away from their families and take refuge in the Prophet’s Mosque.
Al-Shehri said: “Once we have received a report of a runaway girl, we send officers all over the women’s section to comb the area and search for the girl. “When we find them, we call their parents and hand them over.”
Sometimes an argument or quarrel might occur between two female visitors, mostly from different nationalities, over their possessions.
The female officers intervene immediately and break up the fight before things get out of hand. “If the matter can’t be solved at my office, I refer it to the central police station to take necessary measures,” she said.
Any lost items found on the floor of the mosque will be handed over to the women’s police station.
If the owners cannot be found within a month, the items will be sent to the Security Forces Command where they will be sold and the money given to the poor.
Brig. Gen. Muhammad Al-Ahmadi, commander of the security forces, said there are 30 female officers who are responsible for the security of the women’s sections.
“They provide different services such as helping visitors and the elderly, especially those who suffer from difficult medical conditions,” Al-Ahmadi said.
Amal Al-Radadi, security coordinator, said a new center will be set up to qualify female officers and help them cope with the pressures of work.