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Big brother watches young lovebirds in Jakarta’s parks

Publication Date : 25-04-2014

 

Security guards at a public park in West Jakarta have been on an undercover mission in the past few months: in pairs, they pose as young couples dating in Cattleya Park but are in fact spying on the numerous lovebirds under the trees in the evenings.

One of the undercover guards, Casmadi, said that since a few months ago, they had caught three young couples in flagrante delicto.

“When we see a couple doing obscene things, like taking off their pants, we immediately nab them,” Casmadi told The Jakarta Post recently.

He said he usually did not mind if couples only kissed in the park. “I would usually only blow my whistle so that they stop kissing. However, if they have sex in the park, they are going to be in a lot of trouble,” he said.

Casmadi said that nabbed couples were taken to the Parks and Cemeteries Agency office for questioning.

“We ask them how to get in contact with their parents so that we can call the parents and ask them to pick them up,” he said.

The 62-year-old security officer said it was not easy to call the parents of such couples, mostly junior high school students, as they did not carry identity cards and refused to give the correct information.

“I usually threaten to take them to the police office if they don’t give the real phone numbers of their parents,” he said.

Casmadi, who is also a community head in the subdistrict near the park, said the drama did not stop there as when the parents arrived, the first thing they did was get mad at the guards. It was hard for them to believe that their children did such things.

“Once a mother scolded me for picking up her child for no reason. I finally had to tell her the whole story in detail to prove that I wasn’t making it up,” he said, adding that the mother swooned after hearing the graphic story.

Cattleya, a 3-hectare park near Taman Anggrek mall, is a popular hangout among youngsters.

However, responding to reports from local residents who raised concerns that many youngsters used the park to have sex, the security guards of the Parks and Cemeteries Agency have conducted several raids in recent months.

Agency head Nandar Sunandar said his agency would make improvements to prevent such things from recurring.

“We will raid the park more often and install more lamps, so people will be reluctant to act inappropriately,” he told the Post.

Nandar said the legal basis of the measure was Bylaw No. 8/2007 on public order. “Anyone is prohibited from acting immorally or behaving indecently on the streets, green strips, parks and other public spaces,” he said, citing the bylaw’s Article 42.

He said that although the agency did not require parents to make the couples marry, he urged them to do so.

In his perspective, marrying off the teenagers to each other was amal (a good deed in Islam) as it would save the children from sinning, he said.

Premarital and extramarital affairs are considered a serious sin in Islam.

He argued that it was better than fining or imprisoning the couples.

The maximum penalty for violating the bylaw article is 90 days in jail and a 30 million rupiah (US$2,580) fine.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said previously that half of the parks in the capital city had been equipped with CCTV and other parks would have them by the end of June in order to reduce crime.

“We target that the installation will be finished by June,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.

Ahok said workers were installing optic fiber as all CCTVs would be integrated.

 

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