Police to carry due diligence while frisking youth: Home Minister \

Going by the increasing number of armed robbery and stabbing cases, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) is now put in the proposal to frisk youth found loitering in the town after 10pm.

The Opposition party stated such a measure might lead to demoralizing the youth, causing further alienation, resentment, fear and mistrust towards the law enforcing agencies.

The Opposition party has written to the home ministry to review the proposal made by the RBP.

The Opposition has written to the ministry proposing for alternative ways to reduce youth related crimes by strict enforcement of existing laws, such as closing time for bars and entertainment, age limit for entry and sale of alcohol and sale and distribution of drugs and other substances.

Meanwhile, the Home and Cultural Affair Minister, Damcho Dorji, said that the parents must be informed of their children that are loitering at night and armed with dangerous weapons and intention.

Lyonpo added that RBP has the responsibility of not only safeguarding the safety of the public, but also the safety of the youth also. He said as long as the police exercise due diligence and there is reasonable suspicion that a person is armed with dangerous weapon, they have the right to frisk them.

Further, Lyonpo added that such a measure is necessary in the view of the increasing incidents of stabbing and armed robbery.

“We appreciate the concern of the Opposition, as long as they are not of petty political mileage,” Lyonpo Damcho Dorji said.

The Chief of Police, Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel, during a press conference held on February 12, said that some children are found loitering in the town carrying knives and other dangerous weapons during odd hours.

Such an initiative was developed by RBP after seizing dangerous weapons from the youth, like Hockey sticks, draggers, chains, knuckle dusters, and various types of knives, etc.

Therefore, RBP proposed to carry out mass patrolling and to frisk all youth found in two or more in numbers after 10pm as its new crime prevention method.

According Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel, the youth are found in many areas, shouting in the street and fighting with bottles in the middle of the night.

The Chief of Police added that youth group, two or more in number, found loitering would be questioned and frisked. Any weapons found will be seized. A profile will then be taken down, warning issued, and RBP will hand over to the youth to the parents.

However, if a person is found after 10pm, the Chief of Police said that there would not be any checking, unless the person is found under suspicious act or behavior. He further said that a second offence will lead to the arrest, detention and charge sheeting.

Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel said that the police on duty will be polite to the person being checked during the question and frisking process.

In 2014 alone, RBP recorded 75 battery cases and 6 battery cases, from the beginning of 2015 till mid February, involving youth.

RBP also recorded of 18 incidences of battery with stabbing in 2014 involving you

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