| Faza Suraj |
THE Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) organised a meeting with the heads of villages and mukims from Belait District recently in an effort to reactivate the neighbourhood watch programme.
Acting Commanding Officer of Belait District, Supt Mohd Hadini bin Hj Othman, stressed that the neighbourhood watch system has proven to be a useful tool in assisting the police against crime since it was introduced in Belait in 1991.
He, however, added that much was needed to be done to empower the people and reinstate their roles in supporting the police to keep the country safe.
“Statistically, when compared to Singapore, Brunei Darussalam has a higher crime rate in terms of ratio of cases to population.
“Even though Brunei records much fewer criminal cases, the population is just a fraction of Singapore’s populous 4.5 million people.
“A lot needs to be done to maintain the country’s reputation as a safe and peaceful nation.”
They also discussed the structure of the neighbourhood watch, relationship between police and leaders of the watch as well as the roles and responsibilities of members.
It was also mentioned that only police personnel would be allowed to conduct certain exercises such as raids, road blocks, body searches and detention.
One of the issues raised by some of the community leaders was the difficulty in keeping track of outsiders working in the villages.
It was then suggested that a form of registration be implemented.
The neighbourhood watch programme was originally established in Kg Mumong of the Belait District in 1991 and it spread to almost all the other villages, with 1,900 registered volunteers to date.
Also present were Deputy Commanding Officer of Belait District, Supt Ariffin bin Hj Jafaruddin, and representatives from Belait District Office.