Top tourism officials in Indonesia have issued public statements assuring international visitors that the island is a safe place for vacation following another robbery in the popular resort of Legian.
Police patrols in the area have already been increased in the last few weeks following a rise in pickpocketing and thefts against foreigners.
Police in Legian have launched an investigation to track down two men in connection with a serious robbery on Jalan Padma Utara on 7th November.
Police have confirmed that a British couple on vacation in the area were robbed by two men riding a motorcycle through the streets at around 9 pm.
The couple is reported to have been robbed of jewellery worth USD 36, 319, the equivalent of IDR 570 million.
In a public statement, Kuta Police Chief Commissioner Yogie Pramagita says that no leads have yet been established.
Chief Commissioner Pramagita told reporters, “We are carrying out an investigation. We have carried out the crime scene investigation. However, there are still minimal witnesses. Because at that time, at the scene, there were no witnesses who saw it. There were no witnesses who saw it [who have come forward] yet.”
He added, “We have checked all the CCTV, but nothing has led to this incident. So, we will continue to investigate.”
The attack took place on Jalan Padma Utara within steps of the Ibis Styles Hotel as 41-year-old Robert Kirwin and his partner, Rebecca Hollis, were on their way home from dinner.
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Chief Commissioner Pramagita outlined the details of the attack to the media in the hopes that someone may come forward with supportive information.
It is known that the couple were walking down Jalan Padma Utara, towards their vacation rental villa. Two men driving a motorcycle pulled in beside them and tried to snatch Hollis’ handbag from her.
Hollis tried to secure her bag from the thief, but despite her defenses, one of the criminals started aggressively waving an object, believed to be a knife.
It’s been reported by the authorities that the thieves demanded she hand over her jewelry, and due to the level of threat against them, the couple obeyed their demands.
Following the incident, the Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies issued a statement, assuring tourists that Bali is safe.
During the Weekly Briefing with Sandiaga Uno, the Minster said, “Bali remains safe, there can be no doubt.”
Speaking on behalf of the Bali Tourism Office, Ketut Yadnya Winarta emphasized that not only is Bali safe for tourists, but increasing efforts are underway to keep it that way.
Winarta told reporters, “This incident does not mean that Bali is no longer safe. We can say that in general Bali is still safe.”
He continued, “To anticipate this, many things have been done in the past to maintain Bali’s security, such as involving the community (pecalang) to participate in maintaining security.”
“The security forces have also carried out security activities in tourist areas and tourist attractions so that we can see that there are very few criminal cases occurring in Bali.”
He concluded, “Regarding the news of robberies against tourists, currently, the police in Bali are conducting an investigation. If this really happened, hopefully, they will be arrested soon.”
Legian is one of Bali’s leading tourism resorts, and local tourism businesses want to keep it that way.
However, a recent rise in criminal activity against tourists in the area has led the authorities to launch 24-hour patrols to help keep tourists safe.
The patrol team, known as the Kancil Team, comprises eight security officers who are working in three shifts across each 24-hour cycle.
The team has been patrolling the tourist resort on motorbikes and has been focusing on Jalan Legian, Jalan Padma, and Jalan Popies.
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