Youth needed in crime busting efforts
NEIGHBOURHOOD watches in Liang-Lumut need more participation from youth to increase their ability to deter crime by keeping the police informed of the latest trends, according to grassroot leaders from the area.
Acting Village Head of Sg Liang Hj Mohd Ibrahim DMS Dian recently told The Brunei Times that the Liang-Lumut area has three neighbourhood watches; Kg Sg Liang, Kg Lumut 1 and Kg Lumut 2, with maximum membership set at 20 by the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).
The Acting Village Head pointed out that all but a few of Sg Liang's neighbourhood watch comprise of senior citizens, which he claims can limit the overall information sourced by the watch to be given to the police.
“If the neighbourhood watch is only made up of one group or sector of society, it will become too one-dimensional in its view and its information supplied,” said Hj Mohd Ibrahim.
He added that youth would be able to assist the police by providing information or explain issues not usually privy to senior citizens because of the age gap.
“The youth will be able to follow the latest trends on the ground and online which can be relayed to other neighbourhood watch members or the police so that a more rounded picture can be developed,” said the acting village head.
Meanwhile the neighbourhood watches of Lumut 1 and 2 also feature participation by only a handful of youth, according to the Village Head of Lumut 1 and Belait District representative to the Legislative Council Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Shafiee Ahmad.
“Lumut 2 was able to recruit two female youth, while Lumut 1 has a few male youths. This is positive – but it has to grow,” said YB Hj Mohd Shafiee.
He echoed his counterparts comments on youth involvement, highlighting that for community policing - one of RBPF's core crime prevention strategies - to be truly effective, neighbourhood watches need participation from community members from a diverse range of backgrounds.
“Not just differing age, but different ethnicities, and coming from across the village and no concentrated to just one area,” he said.
According to the Sg Liang Police Station's records, Kg Sg Bakong, Kg Sg Tali, Kg Sg Taring and the National Housing Scheme in Lumut are the most crime prone areas in Liang-Lumut.
The neighbourhood watch was revived in the Sultanate by the RBPF towards the end of 2014, building on the idea of local vigilance by community members to discourage crime by informing and working closely with the authorities.
The Brunei Times