ASEANAPOL must continue enhancing capacity to combat cybercrime surge

|     James Kon     |

THE advent of technology has coincided with an increase in computer and cyber-enabled crimes, which have created new threats and challenges to regional security. Therefore it is imperative that ASEANAPOL, as the main law enforcement agency in the region, continues to step up efforts to strengthen its capacities in fighting and solving crime by way of effective policing strategies and operations.

Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Commissioner Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam highlighted this at the opening ceremony of the 9th ASEANAPOL Training Cooperation Meeting (APTCM) being hosted in Brunei Darussalam.

The commissioner said training “is multi-faced, multi-functional and multi-dimensional”, and that the main objective “is to increase our capability in facing known or unknown (threats).”

“This will create a sense of preparedness and readiness albeit not in a comprehensive manner. The (purpose of the 9th APTCM in the context of ASEANAPOL is to be a platform to embark upon new strategies, initiatives and to discover new methodologies to gauge the needs of ASEANAPOL members either collectively or individually.

“Considerations must be apportioned to the political landscape, migration demography and socio-economic dynamism of the region.”

Royal Brunei Police Force Commissioner Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam and Aseanapol members in a group photo. – PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI
A section of the attendees

Stressing on the importance of law enforcement training cooperation, Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy said, “We must understand and recognise the capacities and capabilities of each member country, and training programmes can be tailored to suit such needs and help each member country to close any gaps and to (shore up) any known weaknesses.

“To successfully achieve this, we must work together in devising functional programmes or platforms that will be beneficial to all ASEANAPOL member countries. This can be done by intensifying training, consultation and sharing of experiences in combating crime,” he said.

The police commissioner added that ASEANAPOL should also seek partnerships with international organisations – both government and non-government – for possible cooperation and collaborations in relevant trainings.

The involvement and contributions from these organisations, particularly from ASEANAPOL’s dialogue partners and observers he said, have always been a major boost to the development of police forces in the region.

“We cannot work on our own without partnering with others who have value-added expertise, for doing so will see us operating in a dangerous cocoon,” he said.

Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy added that he hopes productive discussions between the ASEANAPOL member countries on a number of issues will take place during the 9th APTCM.

Among these include efforts to be taken by the ASEANAPOL member countries on the resolutions adopted in the 38th ASEANAPOL Joint Communique on the exchange of personnel and training programmes among ASEAN police forces, as well as plans and actions to organise a joint exercise among ASEANAPOL member countries to test and operationalise the approved ASEANAPOL Communication and Coordination Protocol for Crisis Management.

Earlier in his speech, Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy iterated the importance of establishing and maintaining close cooperation among ASEANAPOL member countries, dialogue partners, observers as well as international organisations and law enforcement agencies to combat crimes with the region and beyond, as emphasised by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during the 38th ASEANAPOL Conference held in Brunei Darussalam last year.

“It is crucial that ASEANAPOL continues to forge cooperation and promote lasting friendships with our strategic partners, (as part of our efforts) to maintain peace and stability sub-regionally, regionally and internationally,” he said.

This year’s APTCM comes with the theme ‘Dynamic Capacity Building’ and is being attended by delegations from ASEAN member countries as well as dialogue partners and observers.

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police ACP Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Jefri bin Pengiran Haji Abdul Hamid and senior RBPF officials also attended.