Officials in Bali are tightening security operations along Kuta Beach in light of a recent attack on tourists. The incident occurred on Monday 16th January, and after an investigation, police can now reveal details of the attack to the public. A task force has been deployed to monitor beach activity, deter criminals, and reassure the public that they can relax knowing that security officers are close by.
Two domestic tourists were attacked by a group of five young men from East Java who were in Bali as a part of a ship’s crew. The young couple’s identity has been protected, but police have revealed their initials, NI, who is 31 years old, and WW, who is 22 years old, were enjoying a night out in Kuta on Monday, 16th January. At around 1 am, the couple had walked to Kuta Beach, whereby the aggressive group of young men set upon them.
The Head of Kuta Police, Kompol Yogie Pramagita, told reporters how the group was hassling the couple for money, following them, and got angry when the couple refused to hand over any of their belongings. Police are reporting that the group of men started physically attacking the couple when they refused to engage with them.
The attackers have also been identified by their initials, AD, 26, GG, 24, AR, 21, MS, 24, and DD, 26. Police have told reporters how DD hit 22-year-old WW over the head with a bottle, and that the rest of the gang proceeded to punch and kick the couple.
The couple managed to escape the attackers and caught the attention of local residents. The gang is said to have run away as residents came to the aid of the couple. Community members helped the visibly shaken and injured couple to the nearest hospital. In a statement issued shortly after the attack, Pramagita said, “The victims were injured and are currently undergoing treatment at Prof Ngoerah General Hospital [the man] has just undergone nose surgery.”
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Police were able to track down the gang of attackers to their guesthouses and arrested all five of them on Wednesday, 18th January. Now tourism officials, security services, and residents are working together to ensure that this kind of attack does happen again. They want to help rebuild the reputation of Kuta Beach after the attack and are deploying more task forces security officers to keep the area safe.
The Commander of the Coastal Task Force, I Made Oka, told reporters, “we are intensifying monitoring of visits. We deeply regret the incident of bullying and beatings by a group of youths who are believed to be crew members.”
Oka also revealed that the attackers were known to the local coastal task force. According to his team, they have often seen the young men on the beach in the early hours of the morning, hanging out and playing guitar, so the officers did not feel anything suspicious was afoot.
He acknowledged that the crime had tarnished the public image of the area. He went on to say that his teams would carry out longer patrols with more staff. He openly told reporters that the attack on NI and WW happened just moments after the Coastal Patrol Task Force had finished their surveillance walk around the Kuta Beach area. He confirmed that patrols will now run from the early evening until the morning and that patrols will increase from two or three officers to have five officers working at a time.
Many tourism business owners, tourism workers, and community leaders in Kuta have all recently expressed how they want to bring tourists back to Kuta. They have openly acknowledged that safety is a concern for visitors, many of whom are choosing to explore other coastal areas like Canggu instead of their old favorite Kuta.
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