Internal Rocket on ‘Useless’ Police Record

DENPASAR ~ Police have been strongly criticised from within their own ranks for generating fear in society by increasingly giving the impression that they are ineffective.

National Police spokesman General Nanan Sukarna, speaking at a “Contrast” seminar in Denpasar on Tuesday, said the impression that police are useless is mushrooming in society because some police appear unaware of their day-to-day responsibilities and duties.

Already this year 519 members of the police have been disciplined for criminal activities and 283 personnel have been sacked.

General Nanan said police regulations required officers to police the community by performing legitimate law enforcement duties and managing human rights issues in a manner that was transparent and accountable to the public.

“The fact is many individual police are useless,” he said. “These individuals themselves can be violators of human rights and perpetrators of corruption and brutality,” he said.

Over recent years thousands of police officers had faced disciplinary hearings, he said.

In 2007, of 13,481 police personnel reported for disciplinary matters, 5,703 were required to attend disciplinary hearings and 357 were deemed to have committed criminal actions.

In 2008 the number of personnel reported soared to 37,481, of whom 7035 appeared at internal disciplinary hearings which punished 1,164 personnel for criminal behaviour.

So far this year, 11,995 police have been reported on disciplinary matters. Of those, 3,281 were called before disciplinary hearings which disciplined 519 for criminal actions. Of those, 283 have already been discharged from the police.

General Nanan said disciplinary rules required that police who were to be sacked must first attend an internal hearing to establish legal verification and hear evidence.

The general, who has been in the police since 1998, said the culture of the national police service had changed but “fat” within the structure was preventing restoration of a positive police image in the community.

He said most police acted professionally in dealing with suspects and also adopted a humanitarian approach when serving the public.

“Police must act firmly against criminals,” he said. “They are desperadoes, devils, satans. But to serve the community, police must function with humanity.”

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