Police meet with community leaders
REPRESENTATIVES from the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) in Belait met yesterday with village heads and penghulus from the district as part of recent attempts to re-energise the existing neighbourhood watch mechanism between the police and the local communities.
Hosting the meeting at the officer’s mess at the Belait district police headquarters in Panaga, Acting District Commanding Officer Supt Mohd Hadini Hj Othman said that the neighbourhood watch system had historically been a valuable tool for police assistance in combating crime ever since it was introduced in Belait from 1991.
He said, however, that much needed to be done to renew and re-empower the people with their roles to support the police in keeping the country safe and secure.
“Statistically, when compared to Singapore, Brunei has a higher crime rate in terms of ratio of cases to population. Although Brunei records far fewer criminal cases, it only has a fraction of Singapore’s 4.5 million people… A lot more needs to be done to maintain the country’s reputation as a safe and peaceful nation,” said Supt Mohd Hadini.
Among the issues discussed in the meeting were the structure of the neighbourhood watch, the relationship of the police with the leaders of the watch, as well as the roles and responsibilities of approved members.
Civilians were also reminded that there were important limitations of the neighbourhood watch which set them apart from actual police personnel, therefore prohibiting members from conducting certain actions such as raids, road blocks, body searches and detention.
One of the issues raised for discussion by community leaders was the difficulty to keep track of outsiders coming to reside or work in the local villages.
It was suggested that a form of registration could be implemented to ensure that all foreign visitors could be better monitored. Also present at the meeting were Deputy District Commanding Officer Supt Ariffin Hj Jafaruddin and Belait District Office representatives.
A similar meeting was also held last Tuesday between the representatives of the RBPF and Kg Jerudong’s Village Consultative Council (MPK).
During the meeting chaired by Kg Jerudong’s village chief Hj Mohd Rais Hj Ishak, RBPF’s present its jurisdiction and how the public can help out including Crime Prevention Strategies, Village Resident’s Role in providing assistance to the police force and to uphold a harmonious, peaceful living community.
A survey by the Brunei-Muara District Police and the (BSB) Central Police station was also conducted in the squatter areas of Kg Kianggeh and Kg Kota Batu on the same day.
The survey was done as an effort by the RBPF to study crime prevention strategies that are more suited towards an effective neighbourhood watch between the police and the community.
Participating in the survey was the Acting Brunei-Muara District Officer, Mohd Sunadi Hj Buntar, Acting Commanding Officer of the Brunei-Muara District Police Supt Mazalan Hj Yakub and Officer in charge of the (BSB) central police station, Supt Hj Naguib Dato Paduka Hj Ismail.
The Brunei Times