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Overpopulation Blamed for High Crime in Bali

Massive Immigration and Uncontrolled Settlement by Long-staying Foreign Tourists Linked to Bali Crime Surge. Police Chief Issues Shoot-on-Site Order for Violent Criminals.

(2/5/2011) The governor of Bali, Made Mangku Pastika, is blaming booming population for many of the woes being experienced by the island, such as growing crime rates.

People migrating to Bali accounts for at least 300,000 new residents over the past three years, bringing the total population to near 4 million.

Quoted in The Jakarta Globe, Pastika said the 300,000 new residents may be only the tip of the iceberg: "Those are only the registered residents; there's no saying how many people come and stay without registering,"

Linking burgeoning population to increasing crime, Pastika continued: "Wherever you have humans, you have crime. So the more the people and their problems, the more crime you'll have. It's a given."

Governor Pastika also apportioned some of the blame on long-time visitors who are undermining the social structure of Bali. "They come and build their villas in remote areas as they please, but they don't socialize with the locals or the police, so eventually people start figuring out that these guys are an easy target for burglary or robbery," said Pastika.

The governor joined the Bali police in calling for stricter compliance to guidelines for villa security through the installation of CCTV cameras.

In response to a number of recent violent attacks on foreigners residing in Bali villas, General Hadiatmoko, the chief of the Bali Police force has issued a shoot-on-sight order for those found committing crimes against foreigners in Bali. Supporting the decision, Pastika said: "If it's necessary to shoot a fleeing criminal, then go for it, but if they turn themselves in, then there's no need. Those resisting arrest, however, should be shot. That's why the police carry guns."