Rabu, 11 Januari 2012


Police-related crimes are down — but not far enough

Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 01/03/2012 9:53 AM
A | A | A |
First Brig. Simson Jones Sipayung is paying a high price for beating a 15-year-old boy who allegedly stole a fellow police officer’s sandals.

The boy, identified as A.A.L., is currently on trial and faces a possible five-year prison term for the theft of the Rp 35,000 (US$4) pair of sandals.

The Central Sulawesi Police suspended Sipayung’s promotion for one year and a police disciplinary board sentenced Sipayung to 21 days’ incarceration for “undermining police integrity”.

Separately, the Central Java Police recently dismissed 16 officers for various violations including drug use, robbery, violence and desertion. It recorded 505 public complaints in 2011, a significant increase over 262 complaints in 2010.

Observers deemed the immediate reaction to the involvement of officers in criminal acts as a good sign that the police were working to improve their already tarnished image. 

National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said the number of police officers involved in violent and criminal acts was down in 2011, adding that the penalties levied on officers reflected “a commitment from the police as law enforcers and public servants to provide a good example”.

However, Al Araf, the program director of human rights watchdog Imparsial, said the decrease did not reflect progress, but instead confirmed existing systemic problems within the police.

“Giving impunity to violating officers creates a space for new violence,” he said. “Timur’s leadership has also shown the militaristic face of the police.”

Al Araf also slammed the police for the slow pace of reform. 

“The poor welfare of these officers also triggers problems,” he added.

The budget for the National Police will increase by 10 percent in 2012, up from the Rp 31.6 trillion budget last year. Ninety percent of the budget will go for operations and for the salaries of 300,000 officers nationwide,

Timur originally said that the National Police would have a 7.9 percent increase in its budget this year.

Al Araf said that the violations were examples of how easy it was for police officers to abuse their authority with civilians.

“Do not forget: You can see police violence most apparent in three cases, namely religious freedom issues, agrarian conflicts and Papuan conflicts,” he said on Monday. “They are supposed to be independent, but they have failed.”

Al Araf attributed the failure to a police bias “toward rulers, private companies or those with money or even the majority”.

The National Police has been under the spotlight since late last year for alleged involvement of officers in several human rights violations, including a deadly clash in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara. 

Five police officers, along with 56 residents, were named suspects in a clash between protesters and authorities in Bima on Dec. 24, 2011, when two residents were killed as police fired into a crowd of protesters.

The clash began when a number of residents, citing environmental concerns, demonstrated against the Bima administration by blocking the road to Sape port, demanding the revocation of a mining permit issued to PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara.

Earlier in October 2011, five Papuans were found dead after a violent crackdown by the police at the third Papua People’s Congress in Abepura. 

The five were allegedly beaten and shot by security officers.

0 komentar: