Bali Police have launched a series of new patrols in tourism hotspots at peak times. Hundreds of personnel from Badung Police, along with soldiers from the Indonesia Army, the Civil Service, and local village governments (Banjar) held a massive patrol of Kuta on Saturday 20th August.
The huge patrol efforts come as part of the planning and preparation efforts ahead of the G20 Summit in November. The increased security effort was sparked by a series of phone robberies on tourists in the Kuta area.
The patrol was led by the Head of the Badung Police, AKBP Leo Dedy Defretes, and the Deputy Chief of the Resort Police, Kompol I Ketut Dana in partnership with the Indonesian Army. As Bali prepares to welcome world leaders and their delegations from the world’s twenty biggest economies, as well as industry leaders and global media, security efforts will become increasingly visible and widespread.
AKBP Defretes told the local press that launching the patrols now, with a little over 3 months to go before the G20 Summit, will help stamp out any crime in the area. He noted that there has been an increase in crime rates in the Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu areas, which directly correlates with the increase in tourists in the area.
There are scammers and thieves who operate in the area and are targeting tourists specifically. While many have been caught, charged, and locked up, authorities want to stamp our crime in the area for good.
Tourists are being reminded that these patrols are for their safety and the presence of more police and even military on the streets of Bali will become commonplace in the next few months. Much of the focus of the patrols is to create a presence and to socialize police with tourists to increase public awareness and trust.
AKBP Defretes said ‘The revival of tourism after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic is overshadowed by the increasing street crime. In a time of [peak lockdown for] Covid-19, street crime is almost non-existent. When Bali reopened to tourists, the mobility of tourists in North Kuta increased sharply. Street crimes are starting to overshadow this situation’.
He confirmed that the new patrols would continue from now until the end of the G20 Summit period. While the main event is being hosted from the 15-16th of November, there are events before and after this time. In fact, the G20 Presidency will remain with Bali, and Indonesia more broadly, until the formal handover to Jammu and Kashmir in India in early December in preparation for the 2023 event.
Authorities in Bali are taking security around the international conference incredibly seriously. In recent days it has been confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the event, as well as the President of China Xi Jinping. Currently, President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and President Emmanuel Macron are all confirmed to attend too.
Although calls are growing for political leaders in Europe and North America to boycott the event after the confirmation that both Russian and Chinese leaders will be in attendance. As the war in Ukraine continues, tensions around the G20 Summit continue to rise which is why security forces are working around the clock, both in and out of sight of the public to ensure that the event is safe for world leaders and their delegations and that local people and tourists are kept safe too.
When asked about the patrols AKBP Defretes said ‘Based on the identification of the problem, we have mapped the vulnerable hours in the jurisdiction of the Badung Police, namely early in the morning until dawn, [like] after people finish eating dinner and closing nightclubs, from 2 am to 4 am’.
He continued to explain how he and his teams are taking a proactive approach ‘The Badung Police personnel must be at the crime scene before the crime occurred. Don’t let an incident be handled too late so that it disturbs Kamtibmas [Community Security and Order] which can disrupt the G-20 event’.
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