Bali’s new police chief, Hadiatmoko, has reminded his senior officers that hotels and villas in Bali were still potential terrorist targets and said no one could afford to relax about the threat.
“Bali’s tourism is still threatened as a terrorist target. We will keep on protecting assets such as hotels and villas from terrorist threats,” he said.
Hadiatmoko said the key to countering terrorists here was for all police to be extra security-conscious at all times and to implement the community policing arrangements already in place.
These link hotel managements and villa operators with the police via a radio network and bring traditional pecalang (neighbourhood security) into the preventive net.
Hadiatmoko this week addressed the Police Board, his first address to it since his appointment earlier this month to replace General Sutisna. He spoke to the media outside the meeting to reinforce his security message.
“What is needed is implementation of the Community Police strategy so that this is accepted by the community,” he said.
Police must always coordinate their operations with local agencies and be consistently seen as the protectors of society.
Hadiatmoko, a police intelligence expert, signalled that Bali Police would step up security at the airport and seaports, and keep closer watch on land transport, because airports and ports were the places terrorists and criminals tended to infiltrate and land transport was a crucial factor that required constant surveillance.
He said it remained possible that terrorists could target foreign tourists here because Bali was the focus of international attention.
“We will continue to safeguard hotels and villas,” he said.
But island-wide security was important because while many foreign tourists came here for the beaches, sunshine and nightlife, many others were interested in Bali’s culture and travelled widely throughout the island to experience this.