The Royal Bhutan Police has said that it will continue naming and shaming criminals by publishing their names and pictures as they first did in the recent Gomtu rape and murder case.
By doing so the RBP hopes to meet two objectives: convey a message to public on the crime and to prevent and discourage crime.
“Our intention is to sensitize people and make them understand on certain dangers,” Police Chief Colonel Chimi Dorji said, adding that naming and shaming in future would be done on a case by case basis. “We cannot name and shame those who commit a small thefts but we are going to do it for those who commit heinous crimes like murder, visa scam related issues, rape and drug peddling.”
He also said that if a criminal were under 15 years, they would not publish the name and picture even if they are caught with huge quantity of drugs. But for adults who know the consequences and who know the legal implications, naming and shaming will continue.
“I think that publishing the picture will have an impact and that it will somehow curb heinous crimes because they will be named and shamed,” the police chief said.
With regard to the recent naming and shaming of the suspect in the Gomtu case even before being convicted by court, the police chief said police were sure the suspect will be convicted as the investigation revealed 100 percent evidence. Besides, the suspect also confessed to the crime.
He also said that police wanted to convey the process of how he committed the crime and to make girls aware of the danger of people they meet through social media. “If a person commits a heinous crime like murder with no intention (involuntary manslaughter) than we will not name and shame the suspect, however, if anything is committed with an intention we will name and shame for sure,” he added.
He also said that they did study about the consequences to the family of those suspects who has been named and shamed. “Our concern is with the crime and people have to be more responsible, they should think of the consequences to their family before committing any crime.”
He also said it is a misconception that police have a bias on naming and shaming criminals depending on whether they are rich or poor because of one particular case. “People can say we have a bias if we have done it to juts one poor person in a group but in the Gomtu case he is one who committed the crime,” the Police chief said.
He also emphasized on the impact of publishing the picture of the suspect. “We have given a lot of crime stories in media but it was not as effective since the criminals were anonymous so in the Gomtu case we decided to name and shame,” he said.