‘Mumong needs more patrols’
A VILLAGE head has called for frequent police and neighbourhood watch patrols to prevent looting of electrical wiring and window frames at vacant government housing in Mumong.
Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Yusof Hj Dulamin said Kg Mumong's 16-member neighbourhood watch, who were presented their appointment papers yesterday, would be closely monitoring vacant buildings and property undergoing renovation to prevent vandalism and theft.
“We see vandalism and looting in the barracks of Jalan Singamenteri especially, where upgrading works are being undertaken. Soon after renovations are complete, irresponsible parties come to damage windows and steal the window frames and (electrical) wiring,” he said.
As part of a multi-agency initiative headed by the Belait District Office, about 200 government barrack units – the lowest-cost civil servant housing in the district – are in the process of being refurbished to accommodate underprivileged and squatter families on a temporary basis.
The vandalism and thefts on Jalan Singamenteri, one of nine government barrack housing areas in Belait, are a blight on an otherwise safe environment in Mumong, said YB Hj Mohd Yusof.
He added that neighbourhood watch groups need to improve their member composition to include youths, females and residents of different ethnicities and nationalities to improve its crime prevention ability.
With a population of over 11,000, YB Hj Mohd Yusof said Mumong's neighbourhood watch has plenty of room for expansion.
“The strength of the neighbourhood watch is its ability to provide the authorities with useful on-the-ground information which could prevent crime or lead to arrests.
“If membership in the neighbourhood watch is too one-dimensional, then the information it can supply will be much more limited than from a diverse membership that includes women and different age groups and ethnicities.”
Mumong's first neighbourhood watch was set up in 1990 but received a boost towards the end of 2014 after the idea for neighbourhood watch groups across the country was revived by the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF).
Aside from providing the authorities with information, Mumong's neighbourhood watch has been carrying out joint patrols with the police at least once a month.
The officer in charge of the police district in Belait, Superintendent Ariffin Hj Jafaruddin, presented five-year appointment letters to members of Mumong's neighbourhood watch at YB Hj Mohd Yusof's residence yesterday.
The RBPF previously attributed a drop in crime in the district to the neighbourhood watch’s efforts. Reported crimes declined to 400 during the January to September period from 480 during the same period last year.
The Brunei Times