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Making our society a safe home for residents

Tackling crime is becoming increasingly difficult by the day. Seen the logical way, instances of criminal offences seem to be growing because of better reporting systems in this age of high-speed communication technology. As Bhutanese communities become rapidly urbanised, addressing crimes and maintaining social well-being with the traditional way of policing is fast becoming redundant. That’s perhaps why crime rates never seem to go down in our society. It is significant so the Royal Bhutan Police is beginning a serious process of modernisation.

The model of intelligence-led policing is gaining popularity around the world because of its usefulness. Started from the UK, this policing method has already been replicated in some of the most advanced countries around the world today. What is more important is that we need to look at our own needs this day.

There is a gap. The police know that they are often seen as the most untouchable group of professionals in our society today. At the same time the public thinks that the police are in our communities to ruin the little good that is left in our society. Meanwhile criminal activities have been growing and, with it, the trust issues between the keepers of the law and the people.

Intelligence-led policing began in Thimphu early this year but who knew about it? And we are talking about information and collaboration. The Thimphu police have apparently done very well in containing criminal offences with Intelligence-led policing that Paro, a rapidly growing city, is planning to adopt. Paro, by the way, is the fourth among the most crime-infested dzongkhags today after Thimphu, Chukha, and Wangdue.

At the heart of intelligence-led policing is data. The Royal Bhutan Police are studying the data and patterns of crimes in our society and zooming in on the safety of the communities that need police support the most. Already resource-stretched, with intelligence-led policing, getting at the root of the problem becomes easy for the law enforcers. With this system, there is real the opportunity to contain the proliferation of unhealthy social behaviours more than it makes any economic sense.

But, whatever the case, we will have to give it entirely to the police force for what they have until now done and are looking to doing to make our communities safe. Addressing the issues, wide-ranging as they are, does not and should not rest with the police alone. Social crime is a disease that affects every one of us. Effectively so, it is an individual responsibility as a citizen to contribute towards making our small society clean and safe.

Some are of the view that policing or the presence of law enforcers in our communities is the sign of anarchy brewing. Such a flawed thought must not be entertained. Policing is and will increasingly become necessary but we will only render the arrangement useless if we cannot help the law enforcers carry out their duty with whole-hearted support.

Thimphu’s success with intelligence-led policing is a good lead. Other dzongkhags must follow. At the same time the Royal Bhutan Police must keep modernising their approaches and the institution itself by making policing more professional than it is today.

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