The Royal Oman Police (ROP)
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) plays a vital role in serving
the public and protecting the nation. The close
relationship between the police and the public is
reflected in the trust and co-operation that exists
between the two sides.
Modernisation of facilities and services
The ROP's network of modern installations operates across
the country, ensuring the public is provided with the best
and most efficient security services. Existing
installations are constantly being upgraded, while new
buildings and facilities are currently under construction.
A new command headquarters called "The Oil and Gas
Installations Command" has been set up to protect the
Sultanate's valuable oil and gas installations. The Police
Coastguard Command has been equipped with new, highly
advanced fast patrol boats, while the older boats
currently in use have been modernised and fitted with new
engines. To keep all vessels in tip top condition the
engineering and maintenance workshop has been expanded and
A Sea Rescue Group has been established to help prevent
drowning accidents, respond to SOS calls, improve the
monitoring of Oman's coastline and prevent illegal
immigration and smuggling.
The Police Aviation Directorate has been provided with new
premises and a helicopter fire-fighting service has been
introduced for use in areas that are relatively
inaccessible to ordinary fire engines. The Sultanate is
one of the first countries in the region to set up this
service and several pilots have now been trained to man
The Police Aviation Directorate is due to receive a
number of high-tech helicopters with advanced equipment
for use in the Flying Ambulance service or for
fire-fighting and rescue missions, or with thermal imaging
cameras which will provide monitoring and support services
for the ROP's other departments. At the end of 2005
several Agusta Westland A109 Power helicopters were
The ROP is attracting increasing numbers of young Omani
men and women into its ranks and regards their training as
one of its main priorities.
The Sultan Qaboos Academy for Police Sciences (SQAPS),
established in Nizwa in 1980 (as the ROP Academy Nizwa),
provides basic training for police personnel, as well as
diploma courses in police sciences for university
graduates or those with equivalent qualifications. It also
trains candidates for senior positions in the ROP.
The Police College, which is within the SQAPS complex, was
established in 2000 and trains ROP officers and awards
diplomas and degrees in law and police sciences.
An event unprecedented in the Sultanate's history was the
inauguration of the Police Women's Band during the 35th
National Day celebrations in 2005, when 60 female
musicians entertained with a selection of military tunes.
The women's band is expected to play an important part in
future national events.
Advanced services in a wide range of fields
The ROP provides a range of prompt, efficient world-class
services. The Directorate-General of Civil Status
registers the births, marriages, divorces and deaths of
Omani nationals, as well as the births and deaths of
expatriate residents in the Sultanate, in addition to
their marriages and divorces if one of the parties to the
marriage or divorce is an Omani. Omani nationals are also
issued with "smart" multipurpose ID cards, which are both
flexible and secure and - among other things - show the
holder's driving licence details.
In future it will be possible to use them as Majlis
A'Shura voter registration cards. Residence cards are also
issued to resident expatriates working in the Sultanate,
and their dependants. The labour card and the residence
card have now been combined.
The regulations implementing the Foreign Residents' Law
have been amended to encourage tourism in the Sultanate
and the procedures for the issue of transit visas have
been relaxed. Tourist companies can sponsor foreign
tourists from certain countries and the conditions
governing these tourist visas have been amended by
agreement between the ROP and the Ministry of Tourism. New
facilities for diplomats wishing to visit the Sultanate
are now also in place under reciprocal arrangements.
Border entry posts have been streamlined and equipped with
tourist information services, and highly trained national
personnel. The customs sections in the regions have been
upgraded to directorate status, to facilitate the movement
of goods over the frontiers and improve the operational
efficiency of the Directorate-General of Customs.
A new computer system has been introduced to improve
customs clearance procedures and customs clearance offices
- with similar functions to those at Port Sultan Qaboos
and Muscat International Airport - have been opened at
overland crossing points. These moves are designed to
support the national economy and come in response to the
Gulf Co-operation Council Customs Union and the Greater
Arab Free Trade Zone.
Thanks to its new container and motor vehicle inspection
equipment, the Directorate General of Customs is now
better equipped to detect and identify prohibited
substances and smuggled goods. A declaration on a
container security and goods inspection initiative has
also been signed between the Directorate-General of
Customs and its American counterpart, allowing for the
inspection of goods transported by sea between Omani and
The ROP tries its utmost to ensure the Sultanate enjoys
the highest standards of road safety. Vehicles are
regularly inspected, training standards for drivers have
been raised and traffic rules are rigorously enforced,
particularly with regard to speed limits.
Intensive awareness campaigns are regularly held for
drivers and other sections of society, including school
students. To this end, the police work closely with other
departments and organisations, particularly the Ministry
of Education and the media.
The Traffic Safety Institute was been set up to train both
traffic personnel and road users. By the end of 2005,
fixed and mobile radar speed detectors had been installed
in all the governorates and regions in a further attempt
to help reduce traffic accidents.
Oman is not only concerned with road safety within its own
borders; the country submitted a draft resolution to the
UN General Assembly entitled "Road safety must not be left
to chance", to help promote international co-operation on
the prevention of traffic accidents, which was adopted by
the UN in 2004.
The March 2006, the ROP won first prize in an
international contest, in which 36 countries participated
and organised by the United Nations, at the 1st Global
Road Safety Film Festival in Geneva, for a film entitled
"Pain and Hope2", a documentary highlighting the suffering
of families who lose relatives in road accidents. The film
stored in the UN library.
Ambulance and Civil Defence services
The ROP provides a Highway Emergency Ambulance Service for
victims of road and other accidents. The Ambulance Unit,
which has a fleet of modern ambulances with modern high -
tech medical equipment, covers the Governorate of Muscat
up to Batinah Region, as well as the main road from the
wilayat of Barka to Khatmat Malahah on the UAE border.
Under current plans, the service will be expanded to cover
the entire country.
The Ambulance Service is linked to an advanced
telecommunications system directed through the ROP's
telecommunications centre. The system co-ordinates the
movement of ambulances to ensure that they reach the scene
of an accident in the shortest possible time.
With regard to the protection of buildings, installations
and property, the Directorate-General of Civil Defence has
been supplied with state-of-the-art civil defence and
This year saw the opening of several new civil defence
posts and work on similar units is ongoing.
The ROP strives to ensure that the best police services
are available to the Omani public across the country. The
Special Task Force is supplied with cutting edge equipment
to enable them to carry out their duties with maximum
efficiency. In addition to its fleet of helicopters, the
ROP also uses horses and Omani thoroughbred camels to
reach some of the more inaccessible areas.
Every effort is made to strengthen links between the ROP
and the general population. Members of the public can
contact a special 24-hour drugs line by dialling 1444,
either to inform the police about drugs offences or to
request information. The ROP's internet website
(www.rop.gov.om) is also available to provide information
on various matters including visa applications and traffic
The ROP takes a keen interest in the welfare of its
members both past and present; by keeping in touch it is
able to provide them and their families with social
welfare services and health care should the need for