The Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) inaugurated its fourth community police centre (CPC) yesterday at Babesa after the success of the other three CPCs in the capital, which has helped in reducing crime rates.
Records with the police show major offences like chorten vandalism, burglary, larceny and mischief, battery and auto stripping were drastically reduced after the introduction of the centres.
With the crime rate increasing every year across the country, Thimphu tops the list, with about 55.8 percent of reported crime in the capital. It includes illegal drug transaction, which is about 79 percent of the overall drug cases reported to the police in the country.
CPC was to address the causes and reduce the fear of crime in communities through the creation of effective partnerships with the community and other public and private-sector resources, the application of problem-solving strategies or tactics, and the transformation of agency organization and culture.
With the objective to combat crime and to make Thimphu a safe place to live, CPC was initiated in four different locations of the capital that includes Taba, Khasadrupchu, Changjiji, and now in Babesa. Establishment of two more centres in Motithang and Changzamtog are in the pipeline.
The introduction of CPC in capital will not only help police in tackling the root cause of crime from a different perspective and deliver timely policing services efficiently and effectively, but it’s also about bringing change in the relationship and cooperation between the police personnel and the community.
“Community policing is based on the notion that citizens should be empowered to prevent crime or the problems that lead to crime. Establishing and maintaining mutual trust is, therefore, the central goal of community policing as it allows wide law enforcement access to valuable community information leading potentially to the prevention and resolution of crimes,” said one of the senior police officers.
CPC will function as a mini police station where any case will be entertained, but the centre will not have any detention cells or specialized units as a normal police station would have.
Service to the community, fostering police and community relations, winning the confidence of the public with more community oriented service, preventing crime through cooperation and support of the community, grasping the needs of residents, and to assist the community in providing a safe environment to live and work are some of the features of the community police.
The CPC will be manned 24 hours a day by two officers and 22 other personnel.
Many people The Bhutanese talked to have said they welcome the initiative and said they will render their support and work with the police to prevent and combat crime.