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Police Renews Warning on Safety in Ubud

For Second Time in a Month, Bali's Police Chief Admonishes Ubud Businesses and Community Leaders for Failing to Meet Security Challenge.

(10/15/2007) The Bali Post reports that Bali's Chief of Police, Inspector General Paulus Purwoko, has renewed his call on the people of Ubud and their regional government to introduce a coordinated system of community security. The latest "warning" from General Purwoko was made on an October 10, 2007 visit to Gianyar regency and follows a similar call-to-action issued one month ago [See: Bali's Chief of Police Unhappy with Ubud Villa Owners].

According to press reports, Purwoko is growing increasingly unhappy with the lack of tangible progress on promises to improve Ubudís security situation nearly one year after a vicious robbery attack on two Korean tourists in December 2006.

While coordinated community security programs are already in operation in many places across the rest of the Island, the Police Chief feels Ubud has done little in this regard, despite its designation as a pilot project for community policing. Underling his frustration, Purwoko said the Ubud has both the potential and manpower for an effective security program and only awaits an implementing agent. Bali's top policeman told the people of Ubud they will have only themselves to blame if a security breach occurs; warning locals not to rush to blame the police should such an undesired event occur.

Contacted separately, Ubud community leader Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati (a/k/a Cok Ace) sees the problem as one of funding and asked for more clarification on the use of visa on arrival fees collected at Bali's airport. Cok Ace, who is also the Chairman of the Bali branch of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), asked if a funding request for community security has been sent to Jakarta.

Meanwhile, Chief Purwoko delineated the problem as one of leadership, saying all that was lacking was a coordinating agent among the various villages and communities in the Gianyar regency. Hoping local businesses in Gianyar would recognize the need for better security and lobby the local government to join a community-based effort to improve community policing. "In this way, their will be two forces from two different directions, the government and the private sector, working to develop (security)," explained General Purwoko.