First of many robot cops hit the beat in Dubai (VIDEO)

Police in the UAE hope to replace as much as a quarter of their force with unarmed law enforcement robots by 2030.

The wheeled robot, which has a touch screen computer in its chest and speaks English with a slight British accent, was built by Barcelona-based PAL Robotics and programmed by Dubai Police. Officials feel the electronic cops bring a lot to the table when compared to their flesh and blood co-workers, Reuters reports.

“These kind of robots can work 24/7. They won’t ask you for leave, sick leave or maternity leave. It can work around the clock,” said Dubai Police Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi.

The robots, which were fielded first at the Burj Park Mall on Tuesday, will be concentrated in high-traffic areas such as the airport and tourist hubs. They are programmed with facial recognition technology, can help process reports, and spot potentially suspicious unattended packages. An SOS button on the robot can connect a user with a live police dispatcher if needed.

As reported by Al Nisr’s Gulf News service, Brigadier Abdullah Bin Sultan of the Dubai Police said they are also working on police buildings that generate their own power and, by the time the robots come full force, the agency plans to have a huge DNA data bank to help fight crime.

“By 2030, there will be no mysterious or unknown crimes in Dubai and the police will have the biggest DNA data bank in the country,” said Sultan.

It should be noted that there are two other events in the news this week that, while not outwardly related, when taken with the Dubai policebots seem maybe a bit more than coincidental:

SureFire just introduced the very RoboCop-ish Masterfire Holster. In fact, it would like at home on Russia’s newly Glock-schooled space robot.

In addition, a donut shop in Denver is using a drone to make delivery of the tasty fodder known to be popular in LE circles.

Too soon?