Police Halve Crime, Ramp Up Security

DENPASAR ~ Police in Bali’s capital city achieved a 50-percent reduction in crime in the week leading up to Lebaran, according to spokesman I Gede Alit Widana.

Normally they deal with an average of eight new crime cases a day.

Widana said on Wednesday that police had been deployed on street patrols in crime-prone areas and to monitor empty buildings.

The strategy had halved the number of reported crimes including theft and fraud.

Widana also said security would be ramped up, especially at entrance points to Denpasar including cross-province bus terminals, to monitor traffic returning to the city after Lebaran.

Dangerous goods would be intercepted and traveller IDs thoroughly checked. Local government and village security (pecalang) would help to ensure new settlers to Bali were properly registered.

Denpasar boarding house operators would be required to properly record identification details of their guests and police would distribute photographs of wanted criminals.

More than 130,000 people left Bali through the northwestern seaport of Gilimanuk alone in the peak pre-Lebaran period up to last Friday.

Return traffic from Java is expected to peak tomorrow and Sunday.

By Wednesday, 70 people seeking to relocate to Bali through Gilimanuk had been turned around and sent home for being unable to produce proper identification.

Inspection post staff at the port reported various attempts by would-be settlers to avoid inspection and invent excuses for not carrying current identification.

Staff were taking no risks and their numbers were to be boosted from 12 to 27 from yesterday in the effort to clamp down on illegal settlement in Bali.

On Kuta Beach, Pecalang have helped secure the area for the influx of visitors over Lebaran and for the annual Kuta Festival, which finishes with a street parade from 3-7pm on Sunday.

Kuta Beach taskforce head I Gusti Ngurah Tresna said the beach had recently hosted 5,000 people a day compared to the normal 2,000.

But holiday numbers at the beach were substantially down on last year’s Lebaran peak of 9,000-10,000 a day because of wet weather and the increasing popularity of regional destinations such as Ubud, Candi Dasa and Lovina, he said.

At Tanah Lot temple in Tabanan, tourism manager I Made Suiana said the number of closed circuit TV units had been increased from eight to 12 over Lebaran.

Latest figures show that on Monday, 15,418 people visited the temple – up 9.36 percent on last year.

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