Members say less is better for neighbourhood patrol

National 2 minutes, 5 seconds


GRASSROOTS leaders agreed that it is better to have a select few to operate the neighbourhood watch patrol task in order to remain undetected.

They said this was because the crime-combatting duties they assume needs to be done covertly so they may be able to gather information needed on certain cases.

It will also ensure their safety while doing their job.

Abdul Wahab Timbang, head of STKRJ Kg Rimba and also chairperson of its neighbourhood watch committee told The Brunei Times operating in large numbers may cause potential criminals to be alerted.

He noted, that while this is good, it may also just cause them to take their crime elsewhere.

“If they (detect our movement), they might move to commit crimes in other areas; such is our concern and therefore, it is better for us to operate in smaller numbers to avoid detection,” he added.

At the moment, the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) had set the limit of Neighbourhood Watch membership to 20 people per village.

“Currently, since we only have 20 people, we might divide half to patrol (either side of the village) and from then on they may be divided into smaller teams to avoid detection,” he said.

He added that the STKRJ Kg Rimba has over 6,000 residents.

“ To the best of my knowledge, the neighbourhood watch group from my village comprises those dedicated to preserve safety of the people,” he said.

Sharing the same sentiment was the head of Kg Serdang, Mohamad Bakar.

He said the 20 members quota is more than enough for his village’s neighbourhood watch programme as there are only 700 residents.

On avoiding detection, he suggested that out of the 20 people, a number of groups can be formed to carry out monthly patrol duties.

“So far, there are no crime-related activities we had heard of, even before our recent establishment of the neighbourhood watch patrol, so hopefully it would stay that way, while we move towards better safety for our villagers,” he added.

Another community leader, Penghulu of Mukim Sengkurong Hj Musa Hj Tahir, who is also the acting head of Kg Sengkurong B agreed to the idea of having a covert operation.

However, he said that members who were selected should not just patrol their own areas. They should also be grouped together with nearby villages and have their own turns to patrol designated areas.

“At certain periods, the groups from different villages can swap their schedules (to become even harder to detect),” he said.

The Brunei Times